Blockchain still under the limelight in the AgriFood sector

10 October 2019

As already stressed last April the application of blockchain technology in the AgriFood sector drew it's fair share of interest, both by the public and the relevant stakeholders.

Six months later, the applications of such technology seems to have increased, this is thanks to few new operators in the mix, the most notorious is Barilla, which is launching a pilot project along with IBM for tracking the freshness of harvested Italian basil. Barilla is in good company in the food sector since Certified Origins, a consortium of olive oil producers, is now partnering with Oracle to launch a system for guaranteeing the quality of the full product cycle based on new technologies.

In the panorama of such efforts, wine industry does not stand aside. Evidence of the global hype among winemakers surrounding blockchain are the witnessing of the application of the blockchain technology to wine surfacing during the Milan Wine Week 2019, where producers are showcasing their signature tastes and capabilities.

Among the latter stands the growing direct application of blockchain to certificate the correct origin of a certain wine label, this also to empower the public engagement with the relevant brand, as well as the overall awareness by consumers. Interestingly, the overall application of blockchain to the wine sector appears to be included in a general trend of the implementation of the principles and technological capabilities of the so-called "Industry 4.0" (so, the tendency to total automation and technological integration to production processes) to winemaking.

This implies a full circle innovation to all the production stages, from harvesting to processing and bottling, straight to the shelves with a QR code giving to the consumers further certainty and track over the origin of the wine bottle they are purchasing. Furthermore, stakeholders in Italy are eager to discover how such tendency to innovation will be supported by the government, which is expected to provide incentives when issuing the new financial plan ("DEF – Documento di Economia e Finanza") which sets out the mid-term public finance and economic strategies.

Blockchain in agrifood is growing, although its actual implementation will take further effort to be accomplished, it is proving as a very attractive new way to grow a business and to make it successful, two aspects where our IP and Tech lawyers here at Withers are keen to help you.

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