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Singapore’s SunMoon uses blockchain to trace apples

Fruit and vegetable distributor has implemented a blockchain platform that enables consumers and suppliers to trace the origin of Fuji apples – with other fruits to follow

Singapore-based fruit and vegetable distributor SunMoon Food has rolled out a blockchain platform that allows consumers and suppliers to track the provenance and condition of Chinese Fuji apples across its supply chain.

Each apple has a QR (quick response) code sticker, which consumers can scan with their smartphones to view certificates of product quality and origin held on a blockchain. Information in these certificates is immutable and shared with other parties, such as packers and retailers.

Besides blockchaining individual apples, the cartons that hold the apples are also blockchained using unique QR codes.

This allows SunMoon to capture real-time information on order fulfilments, such as the number of cartons packed, the batch origin of apples in various cartons, and fruit quality at the point of packing.

SunMoon said its blockchain platform will also open up new trade financing opportunities. By providing potential financiers with assurance and verified information about its products, the company hopes to shorten the typical supply chain financing cycle from 60-90 days to about 24 hours.

“The greater transparency across the value chain will significantly reduce many inter- and intra-communication costs, and minimise potential disputes between supply chain partners over corroboration of information,” said Roger Chua, managing director of SunMoon Food.

“Apart from traceability, packers and receivers are delighted that they can check the condition of the apples and the number of cartons being packed in near-real time on their mobile phones.”

SunMoon’s blockhain platform was developed by DiMuto, a blockchain technology supplier owned by First Alverstone Capital, a Singapore-based private equity firm helmed by SunMoon CEO Gary Loh and his wife Selena Cheng.

SunMoon said being on the DiMuto system is strengthening its ability to buy and sell any fruit from and to anyone, anywhere, with no trust issues. The system integrates with its NetSuite OneWorld enterprise resource planning software and Suite Commerce Advanced systems.

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After Fuji apples, SunMoon is looking to use the blockchain platform to track and trace frozen durians from Thailand, and avocados and citrus fruits from the US.

According to IDC, worldwide blockchain spending is expected to hit $1.5bn in 2018, double the amount spent in 2017. This figure is forecast to grow to $11.7bn in 2022, with a compound annual growth rate of 73.2%.

“Enthusiasm for blockchain continues to be universally shared across regions as businesses and organisations alike continue to explore the technology’s potential business application,” said Stacey Soohoo, research manager with IDC’s customer insights and analysis team.

The US will see the largest blockchain investments and will deliver more than 36% of worldwide spending throughout the forecast period. Western Europe will be the next largest region for blockchain spending, followed by China and the rest of the Asia-Pacific region excluding Japan.

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