In the company’s latest sustainability initiative, consumers will be able to scan on-pack Quick Response (QR) codes and connect to an ecosystem of supply chain data from dairy farm to supermarket shelf.
"We are constantly transforming the way we do business to ensure the best possible quality for all our products," says Guilherme Franklin, COO of El Ordeño. "Blockchain technology provides the transparency we need to certify that our products comply with all quality processes and steps to reach the table of all Ecuadorians."
El Ordeño launched blockchain for all of its TRÜ milk line and plans to include the rest of the portfolio in the medium term. The investment in the technology will not be passed on to consumers, the company says, but instead be absorbed as a contribution to solving social and environmental problems.
Building food trust through blockchain
The IBM Food Trust - a non-cryptographic blockchain network provided as a subscription service - connects growers, processors, shippers, retailers, regulators and consumers around the world to a digital ledger of food system data. It provides “smarter, safer, more sustainable food system for all,” something IBM says is in growing demand.
"Consumers are increasingly aware of how important it is to know the origin and traceability of the products we consume," says Martín Hagelstrom, IBM Blockchain Leader for IBM Latin America.
“The IBM Food Trust provides El Ordeño with a single, immutable and transparent source of information about the products that are distributed throughout the country, and most importantly, it allows each of the consumers to access this information in real time when we buy the products, to make purchase decisions based on the data.”
It also ensures quality control standards for producers to minimize food loss and fraud along the supply chain.
The TRÜ green initiative
TRÜ – launched last year as El Ordeño’s “brand with purpose” – focuses on “promoting a just, inclusive and collaborative society through a new generation of sustainable food.”
“TRÜ believes in fair trade and responsible consumption, providing its consumers with a conscious alternative that allows them to be part of a positive change for the planet,” El Ordeño told FoodNavigator-LATAM.
Its 100% recyclable Tetra Pak packaging is the first in the country to be made of more than 77% of materials from renewable sources. It uses bio-based caps made from sugarcane and cardboard from Forest Steward Council (FSC) certified forests.
El Ordeño has also installed more than 350 solar panels in its production facilities to generate some 200,000 kWh of energy per year, avoiding over 38,000 kg of CO2 emissions in its first year, or one million kg of CO2 in its useful life.
Next steps are to expand the blockchain to include the sales and distribution channels in the traceability process and scale up the IBM Food Trust solution to all of El Ordeño’s dairy products.