How Retailers Can Better Manage the Impact of The Messy Middle

The Challenges of Managing the Messy Riddle

In the AgriFood industry, it is difficult to track fresh produce along the supply chain due to disconnected visibility. Because of the multiple players involved, critical data regarding product quality is often not shared efficiently between stages in the supply chain.  

Often, buyers and retailers have no visibility on fresh produce products during pre-shipment. Quality issues will only be raised upon goods arrival, making it challenging to ensure consistently good quality supply. Receiving poor quality produce results in rejection-related loss of sales and food waste that can easily amount to thousands of dollars. 

Food Waste Generated by Retailers Worldwide 

In the US, grocery retailers generate a whopping 13% of total food waste, totalling a 10.5 million tonnes that go into landfills annually. Meanwhile, in the EU, supermarkets account for 5% of the food waste problem, sparking a pledge by the EU to cut food waste in half by 2030. 

In Singapore, a central warehouse of a supermarket chain rejects about 15 to 20 pallets worth of fresh produce every day, typically due to not meeting product quality specifications agreed upon with suppliers. Each pallet can contain anywhere between 500kg and one tonne of produce.  

Sources: The Straits Time, Food Print, Global Citizens

How Receiving Poor Quality Fresh Produce Costs Retailers 

A Container of Fresh Produce can value between US$50,000 to US$150,000. When Retailers receive fresh produce that does not meet their product quality specifications, it negatively impacts their inventory and sales. 

  • Loss in sales – where the rejection of fresh produce leads to a decrease in their stock count and inability to fill the floor  
  • Incurred costs not recovered – especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, the rises in freight costs are at an all-time high making goods rejection even more costly 

Sources: Sourcing Journal

Poor-Quality Grapes Rejected at Retail-Level

High-Cost of Poor Quality Produce

In a typical fresh produce trade, buyers and retailers have no visibility on the conditions of the goods that were packed and loaded pre-shipment. This makes it difficult for them to efficiently respond to inventory changes caused by quality issues. 

Based on a Real-Life Case Study on Moving Fresh Produce

  • Programme for 15 containers of fresh grapes from supplier to a supermarket buyer 
  • Lack of visibility on pre-shipment quality from the supplier to retailer 
  • 8 out of 15 containers rejected due to quality issues and poor container unloading conditions 
  • Inefficient communication between Quality Control team and Commercial team regarding quality 
  • Loss of sales from 8 containers amounted to over USD$520,000 
  • Entire programme had to be cancelled and discontinued 

No Data, No Visibility

Often, retail stores receive goods that do not fulfil order specifications or products that have some form of quality issues. Moreover, the defects are only known when the fruit or produce has arrived due to a lack of product visibility along the supply chain. This makes trade managing fresh produce challenging for retailers: 

  • Unable to see pre-shipment product quality and container loading 
  • Unable to quickly respond to inventory changes due to rejections from quality defects 
  • Unable to communicate defects easily and effectively between internal teams 

Introducing DiMuto’s Solution

DiMuto’s 8 Product Features

See the full picture with Insightful Trade Data 

From Produce, Trade to Market, DiMuto AgriFood Trade Solutions have 8 key Product Features that help you gain visibility of the in-betweens in your supply chain.

DiMuto’s All-In-One Platform

An all-in-one, farm to fork platformOur 8 Product Features include:  

Farm Management 

DiMuto Maximize farm efficiency and profitability, read more. 

Production Management 

DiMuto Organize, track and trace your production, read more. 

Trade Management 

DiMuto ensures that you are in control of your trades with full visibility, read more 

Inspection & Standards Management 

DiMuto Organise, digitize and verify product quality, read more. 

EmVend Marketplace 

DiMuto helps you to Enter new markets and grow your exports, read more. 

SMART Marketing 

DiMuto helps differentiate your brand with traceability, read more. 

Payment Management  

Stay on top of your trade payments & settlements ,read more. 

Financial Services 

DiMuto helps to protect your trades with insurance, read more. 

How DiMuto Helps

DiMuto’s Pre-Shipment Quality & Trade Info

DiMuto’s Inspection Module

DiMuto makes all parts of the trade easily visible and accessible to relevant teams within the Retailer. With Trade Management, the commercial, QC, shipping team can access pertinent trade documents and data. 

DiMuto’s Inspection and Standard Management

DiMuto Inspection Management helps digitalize the QC process and allows a more efficient way to standardize, record and evaluate quality inspections for optimal product quality.  

DiMuto Creates Trade Visibility for “The Messy Middle” 

DiMuto’s Accessibility of Pre-Shipment and Post-Shipment Quality 

With DiMuto, Retailers can now enjoy accessible visibility of pre-shipment and post-shipment quality to better manage any potential loss of sales 

  • Pre-shipment product quality down to every single carton easily accessible to commercial team 
  • Trade information, documents and actions of each trade seamlessly recorded and presented in timeline view 
  • Post-shipment product quality efficiently captured and communicated between QC, commercial and retail teams 
  • Dashboard view of Inspection Management to ensure optimal product quality and vendor performance 

Read more on our Real-Life Case Study on Receiving Poor Quality Fresh Produce At The Retail Stage: The Retail Impact of The Messy Middle.pptx

If you are interested to learn more about how DiMuto helps Agri-Food businesses leverage on an increased visibility of Pre-Shipment and Post-Shipment Product Quality, please reach us here or drop us an email at sales@dimuto.io. 

How Blockchain, AI and IoT Simplifies AgriFood Product Quality and Food Sustainability

How Blockchain, AI and IoT Simplifies AgriFood Product Quality for a more efficient, sustainable and transparent food supply chain

In today’s society, AgriFood trading practices have evolved to keep up with consumer demands of high quality, safe and sustainable food products. A key tool to help AgriFood businesses to meet this demand is blockchain.

The use of blockchain technology has become an essential tool to ensure efficiency and transparency for AgriFood trade transactions. Additionally, understanding food provenance is becoming more prevalent among end-consumers, making it critical for AgriFood businesses to better understand, manage and communicate product movement from farm to fork.

What is blockchain technology?     

Blockchain is a shared distributed ledger technology that allows users to share verified, immutable information with each other. In this way, blockchain helps agrifood supply chain stakeholders to share trusted information with each other for each trade transaction, allowing the tracking of food provenance and the building of a more visible, efficient and transparent supply chain. 

Blockchain can be used for applications such as improving food quality control throughout AgriFood supply chains. 

Using Blockchain, AI and IoT to Improve Product Quality Control 

Studies have shown that fruits and vegetables are thrown away due to unsuitable storage and shipment conditions. For instance, in Central and Southern Asia, losses in transport can be as much as 30% of the overall yield, a huge amount of waste.

As AgriFood products are transported along the food supply chain, they often take different routes and go through numerous handlers. This means that the ability to track the produce across the supply chain is challenging, making it difficult to ensure optimal product quality. This is particularly critical in the fresh produce industry where ensuring quality is key to maximizing shelf life. 

The challenges that AgriFood businesses need to overcome to assure product quality are: 

  • Processing large quantities of trade, product and document information 
  • Underutilizing valuable technology  
  • Keeping track of product information 
  • Optimizing processes that ascertain product quality information 

How DiMuto uses Blockchain, AI and IoT to ensure Product Quality

DiMuto uses blockchain technology along with Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to determine product quality in an objective and simplified manner.

DiMuto transforms the way of assuring product quality by following four steps: 

  1. Utilizing IoT technology in our Digitial Asset Creation (DACKY) Devices to capture  product data, down to every single carton, throughout the supply chain
  2. Organizing the collected data to be accessible, readable and understandable by different users on our Trade Solutions Platform 
  3. Enhancing the collected data with more insights using AI
  4. Data gets saved on the blockchain to ensure immutability 

DiMuto DACKY devices capturing pre-shipment carton information at various packing facilities. 

Visual Images of each carton of AgriFood product is then automatically uploaded onto the DiMuto Platform, and associated with each trade transaction so that the product, quality control and sales teams across the AgriFood organization can access these data easily.

DiMuto AI and Machine Learning then enhances the information gathered to provide useful insights using predictive models and analysis, this process will procure important product information to assess on its quality score:  

  • Product Identification 
  • Product Size 
  • Product Quantity 
  • Product Quality 

Watch the above video to learn how DiMuto uses AI to determine pre and post shipment product quality 

The insightful data will be stored on the blockchain, ensuring security and immutability through a decentralized node network. 

There is a risk of a single point of failure with the current practice of keeping important information in a centralized server. The data in blockchain, on the other hand, is spread among all nodes in the network. As a result, it prohibits the system from being controlled by a central authority. Thus, accessibility to product quality information is invariably simple and secure. 

This will help to determine the product quality of AgriFood products in a more efficient manner, helping AgriFood businesses to better control food quality at various stages of the supply chain.

With DiMuto’s solution, AgriFood companies can reduce food wastage due to more visible, efficient and reliable product quality controls along the supply chain and take the next step towards food sustainability.

If you are interested to learn more about how DiMuto helps AgriFood companies to utilize blockchain and other technology for a more efficient and sustainable supply chain, please reach us here or drop us an email at sales@dimuto.io.

Accounts Operations Specialist

DiMuto is a rising Agri Fintech company based in Singapore. Our mission is to use technology to transform global food supply chains for the better and tackle big issues like food waste and sustainability and the global trade finance gap.

About DiMuto

DiMuto simplifies every step of global AgriFood trade. From produce, to trade, to market, our AgriFood Trade Solutions help growers, exporters and importers to trade efficiently with better visibility and finance. Equipped with a data-backed growth roadmap, companies can now navigate the complex global trade landscape with ease and focus on what matters – growing a thriving international business.With Visible Trade, DiMuto powers companies and the world forward with confidence.Since 2019, DiMuto has successfully tracked and traced millions of pieces of produce and millions in dollars of trade value on the DiMuto platform, working with a global portfolio of clients in over ten countries on five continents.

The Role:

The Operations Specialist is a key contact between our customers and DiMuto, with the responsibility of developing the business through acquiring new relationships and optimizing our current ones.


What you’ll be doing:

· Become an expert in DiMuto’s Trade Solutions’ 8 Product Features for our target customers to suit varying client needs

· Be responsible for assigned accounts for which you will be maintaining business relationships and developing opportunities

· Ensure service and sales target KPIs are met

· Manage communications with key people in each assigned accounts to full understand business needs and successfully execute adoption of our solution

· Train and inform relevant stakeholders in each account to ensure optimized continual usage of DiMuto solutions for our clients

· Troubleshooting to resolve client issues, including working with cross-functional team members

· Access, analyze, present customer reports to draw conclusions and provide recommendations


What you should have:

· Fast-learner, resourceful, meticulous and detailed-oriented.

· High customer orientation and strong communication skills.

· Strategic mindset in proactively developing effective, long-term solutions for our customers

· Experience in Enterprise Account Management and C-suite relationship management is a plus.

Fresh graduates are welcome to apply. Singaporeans and PRs only.

Marketing Executive

DiMuto is a rising Agri Fintech company based in Singapore. Our mission is to use technology to transform global food supply chains for the better and tackle big issues like food waste and sustainability and the global trade finance gap.

About DiMuto

DiMuto simplifies every step of global AgriFood trade. From produce, to trade, to market, our AgriFood Trade Solutions help growers, exporters and importers to trade efficiently with better visibility and finance. Equipped with a data-backed growth roadmap, companies can now navigate the complex global trade landscape with ease and focus on what matters – growing a thriving international business.With Visible Trade, DiMuto powers companies and the world forward with confidence.Since 2019, DiMuto has successfully tracked and traced millions of pieces of produce and millions in dollars of trade value on the DiMuto platform, working with a global portfolio of clients in over ten countries on five continents.


The role:

You will be a key member in supporting communication activities for DiMuto to enhance DiMuto’s branding and messaging in our key international markets.


What you’ll be doing:

· To work with the CMO in planning and executing content calendar.

· To work with product and sales team to develop and create suitable engaging content materials for key target audience.

· To work with external creative agencies to create owned content and paid content.· To utilize Search Engine Optimization to increase visibility of content.

· To monitor and manage the company’s social media accounts.

· To monitor and manage campaigns to increase targeted traffic and lead generation using marketing analytics.

· To help with liaising with external stakeholders for media queries, interviews, press releases, events as needed.

· To help with developing marketing content for customers as needed.


What you should have:

· Degree or diploma in Mass Communication, Advertising, Business Administration or Marketing.

· Fast-learner, resourceful, meticulous and detailed-oriented.

· Good analytical skills with ability to grasp numbers.

· Editorial mindset on creating content that will engage target audience.

· Experience with content creation and growing an audience online.

· Experience with LinkedIn, Twitter, WordPress and/or top social channels.

· Experience with social media applications such as HubSpot, Hootsuite, Google Analytics will be a plus.

· Familiarity with Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe XD will be a plus.


Fresh graduates are welcome to apply. Only applicable for Singaporeans & PRs.

AgriFood Trade Solution DiMuto Raises US$2.35million Series A Funding to Advance Its Global Network and Agri-financial Services

[PRESS RELEASE]

AgriFood Trade Solution DiMuto Raises US$2.35million Series A Funding to Advance Its Global Network and Agri-financial Services

  • DiMuto, a global AgriFood trade solutions company from Singapore, bags US$2.35million in Series A funding led by The Yield Lab Asia Pacific. The Yield Lab is joined by SEEDS Capital, the investment arm of Enterprise Singapore, PT Great Giant Pineapple, Patrick Vizzone, Ocean Crests Investments, and Asia Capital Pioneers Group. Existing investors include SGInnovate and Latin Leap. DiMuto is also a portfolio company of PwC Singapore’s Venture Hub’s programme.
  • The latest funding validates recent progress and significant market opportunity, enabling DiMuto to scale up product development and meet growing demand for AgriFood trade visibility and trade financing.
  • DiMuto’s AgriFood trade solution unifies product, document and payments on a single platform, tracking the flow of goods along with respective flow of payments and creating a data-driven foundation for business visibility, trade financing, and insurance.
  • DiMuto’s AgriFood financing services tackle the US$1.9 Trillion global trade finance gap, estimated by experts to be as high as US$3.4 Trillion due to Covid-19, by making trade financing accessible to unbanked Small-Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in AgriFood trade that have long faced difficulties accessing formal financing due to factors like creditworthiness, collateral requirements, short-term liquidity, and political or currency risk.
  • By using proprietary technology developed using blockchain, cloud, IoT and AI to create combined visibility between movement of goods and movement of money on DiMuto Platform, DiMuto enables primary data collection for valuable insights allowing AgriFood business leaders to better manage their supply chain in a more efficient and sustainable manner.

Singapore, 21 September 2021 – DiMuto, a global AgriFood trade solutions company that provides end-to-end supply chain visibility for global AgriFood trade, today announced its successful US$2.35million Series A raise.  This round was led by globally prominent AgTech investor The Yield Lab Asia Pacific with participation from SEEDS Capital, the investment arm of Enterprise Singapore, PT Great Giant Pineapple, Patrick Vizzone, Ocean Crest Investments and Asia Capital Pioneers Group.  This round follows DiMuto’s pre-series funding in 2019 and 2020, which saw investments from SGInnovate and Latin Leap.

The Series A raise validates the company’s recent progress and significant market opportunity, despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Funds raised will enable DiMuto to scale up product development and meet the growing demand for AgriFood trade visibility as well as trade financing.

Creating product and data visibility for global AgriFood trade, DiMuto offers AgriFood supply chain stakeholders such as farmers, packers, exporters, traders, wholesalers, and retailers the ability to see the flow of goods and the flow of money associated with the flow of goods on a single Super Platform.  DiMuto effectively adds value by providing business intelligence with its ecosystem of applications and modules so that AgriFood companies can optimize their operations. The Super Platform generates up to 30% price premiums for traceable products as well as reduces up to 50% losses arising from trade disputes for its customers.

“DiMuto was really born out of my dual experiences of operating in the Finance world for 15 years and operating a global fresh fruits and vegetables marketer and distributor. During my ten-year stint in the food industry, I realized there’s an urgent need for business leaders to be able to see all aspects of their business right down to the granular detail of each box, each payment, and each receipt, as well as see the auxiliary service providers supporting their operations. Being able to capture and have the visual confirmation of such business data on a single platform helps business leaders run the organization better,” said Gary Loh, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of DiMuto.

DiMuto’s AgriFood trade solutions offer greater visibility through end-to-end global food supply chains, providing AgriFood business leaders with actionable insights that help them better manage their supply chain, both more efficiently and more sustainably. Complex yet siloed food supply chains have made it challenging for companies to maximize value from their supply chains and ensure adherence to green and sustainable practices. Globally, as revealed by a study from logistics company GEODIS, as many as 62% of companies worldwide have limited visibility of their supply chain, with only 15% of companies having visibility on “just in time” production and only 6% reporting full visibility.

“The Yield Lab is always looking for high-impact start-ups with technology solutions that sustainably revolutionizes the Global AgriFood system.  The benefits achieved in finding new innovation to increase yield in food production can only be felt if that food that is harvested, and processed, enters an efficient supply chain. The need for transparency of trade from farm to fork has long been discussed and desired, but yet still is not widely adopted.  What DiMuto has developed is technology that affordably integrates data into actionable insights, tracking the state of the trade while simultaneously providing meaningful value to each of the different constituents along the supply chain.  For the retailers, distributors, insurers, and the providers of transportation and with trade financing, with DiMuto finally a safe, efficient, accountable, and sustainable supply chain is now within everyone’s reach” said Claire Pribula, Co-founder and Managing Director of The Yield Lab Asia Pacific. “The fragility of global supply chains was made evident at the height of the COVID pandemic, causing significant supply chain disruptions. DiMuto provides the ability to smooth out irregularities, increasing the shelf life and diminishing food waste.”

“Asia Capital Pioneers Group sees immense potential for trade technology solutions like DiMuto. There are also synergies with our investment in payments fintech Aleta Planet, whose account issuance capabilities can power DiMuto’s e-wallet, to plug the payment component within DiMuto’s ecosystem. We believe this can be scaled to a much larger audience across the globe and are excited to be a part of this avant-garde technology,” said Mr. Ryan Gwee, Chairman of Asia Capital Pioneers Group.

With its Produce, Trade and Market modules, DiMuto provides visibility on product quality, documents, and payment records for each stage of the supply chain. From pre-shipment farm production through to post-shipment product receipts, DiMuto enables AgriFood companies to fully see their supply chain, providing essential quantitative data that helps them to monitor and manage Environmental, Social and Governmental (ESG) risks across their global supply chains. The ability to capture and organize such data also helps DiMuto’s financing services to verify that ESG standards are met as part of its green finance and impact investing initiative.

“PT Great Giant Pineapple prides ourselves on our green agricultural practices and putting our farmers at the heart of what we do. Having the ability to visualise our operations all on a single platform will certainly enable a global company like ours to better run our business and improve on our mission. We believe that data visibility and supply chain digitalization is the next forefront of the AgriFood industry, and we are excited to support the application of DiMuto’s solutions,” said Husodo Angkosubroto, majority shareholder of PT Great Giant Pineapple. PT Great Giant Pineapple is one of the top three producers of pineapples worldwide supplying of the world’s canned pineapples, with businesses involving fresh produce distribution and export as well.

By using its proprietary technology developed using IOT, cloud, blockchain and AI to create combined visibility between movement of goods and movement of money on the DiMuto Platform, The Company has further developed its own Proprietary Visual Inspection Module to help standardise the specification of fresh produce using AI. DiMuto thus enables primary data collection for valuable insights allowing AgriFood business leaders to better manage their supply chain in a more efficient and sustainable manner.

DiMuto’s unique ability to digitalize and unify product, document and payment on a single platform helps form a more accurate profile of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) that is data-driven, and trade-centric, enabling SMEs to access alternative trade financing opportunities.  Globally, the current US$1.9 Trillion trade finance gap is estimated, by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), to increase to US$3.4 trillion due to Covid-19. The trade financing gap has hit SMEs the hardest, with over 40% of trade finance applications by SMEs being rejected, as stated by Asian Development Bank (ADB). Despite being the largest contributor to the economy and employment, SMEs struggle to obtain financing from traditional institutions, due to factors such as creditworthiness, collateral requirements, short-term liquidity, and political or currency risks. Helping to counter these factors, DiMuto has developed its proprietary TRADE HEALTH AI module to generate a grading score and a credit score to manage the credit risk of the trade. Based on this, DiMuto will be able to fill the trade financing gap by offering financing for its AgriFood customers.

Despite Covid-19, DiMuto has executed implementations in Indonesia, China, South Africa, Ghana, Malaysia, Kenya, and Colombia over the last six months, with 25 more projects in the pipeline. The company has specifically designed their proprietary digitalization devices, otherwise known as a Digital Asset Creation device (DACKY), in the form of a flyaway kit that enables implementation on the ground to be easily completed in as short as one week.

“I am truly humbled and honoured to have such a broad group of stakeholders, resulting in a unique combination of people and organization to solve a truly global problem of food waste and trade visibility. By removing the friction and inefficiency, we are focusing the use of data to truly build a more Green and sustainable future,” Loh adds. In the near future, the company expects rapid growth with existing and new client partners, providing DiMuto with a key opportunity to expand DiMuto’s portfolio and trade financing applications.    -end-  

About The Yield Lab The Yield Lab Asia Pacific is an AgTech focused fund and part of the global The Yield Lab network of regional Funds based in North America, Europe, Latin America and Asia Pacific.  Created in 2014 as the first early-stage Seed and Series A fund devoted to identifying and advancing Agriculture industry innovation.  Managed by industry experienced teams who have the knowledge, relationships and vision to stimulate, invest and scale sustainable AgTech innovations, The Yield Lab invests across all Agriculture sectors:  Crop Production,  Animal Health,  Precision Agriculture,  Sustainability, Supply Chain and Food Ingredients, in order to deliver financial results alongside positive impacts that solve the global problem of feeding 10B people by 2050 sustainably. For further information please visit: www.theyieldlab.asia

About SEEDS Capital As the investment arm of Enterprise Singapore, SEEDS Capital catalyses smart investments into innovative Singapore-based startups with strong intellectual content and global market potential. We co-invest with independent investors in innovative startups. We help our startups commercialize and expand globally through leveraging on the expertise and strategic networks of our co-investment partners in areas such as technology translation, commercialization and market expansion. Through co-investments, SEEDS Capital aims to catalyze investments into nascent and strategic sectors. These include Advanced Manufacturing & Engineering, Health & Biomedical Sciences, Urban Solutions & Sustainability, and Services & Digital Economy.  

About PT Great Giant Pineapple PT Great Giant Pineapple (GGP) has become the largest private label manufacturer of canned pineapples in the world and a prominent source of premium pineapples and fresh fruits. The company currently exports more than 15,000 containers to over 60 countries worldwide and has a representative company in the USA, Singapore, Japan, and South Korea. Boasting extensive plantations, one in every four canned pineapples in the world today originates from GGP. Aside from canned pineapple, pineapple jam, pineapple cubes in cups, and pineapple juice concentrate, GGP also produce canned tropical fruit cocktail. For further information, visit www.greatgiantpineapple.com

About Asia Capital Pioneers Group Founded in 2011, Asia Capital Pioneers Group started as a Hong Kong-based family office to provide wealth management and legacy planning for some of Asia’s wealthiest families. It has developed a reputation of delivering above-market returns for its clients, through global investments within high growth industries such as real estate and fintech. As the controlling shareholder for several investments such as Songdo International Business District and payments fintech Aleta Planet, Asia Capital Pioneers Group has leveraged its management expertise, global connections, and business know-how to multiply the value of its investments. It also seeks to identify cross-synergies between its investment vehicles for greater efficiencies and business growth. For further information, visit www.asiacapitalpg.com 

About DiMuto DiMuto simplifies every step of global AgriFood trade. From produce, to trade, to market, our AgriFood Trade Solutions help growers, exporters and importers to trade efficiently with better visibility and finance. Equipped with a data-backed growth roadmap, companies can now navigate the complex global trade landscape with ease and focus on what matters – growing a thriving international business. With Visible Trade, DiMuto powers companies and the world forward with confidence. Since 2019, DiMuto has successfully tracked and traced millions of pieces of produce and millions in dollars of trade value on the DiMuto platform, working with a global portfolio of clients in over ten countries on five continents.

DiMuto is founded by Chief Executive Officer Mr Gary Loh, who is also the Executive Chairman of First Alverstone Group. For more information, please visit www.dimuto.io ## For media queries, please contact: HuiMin Lee Email: huimin@dimuto.io    

DiMuto and OPAL Announce Agrifood Fintech Partnership to Tackle Trillion Dollar Global Trade Finance Gap

[Joint Press Release DiMuto – OPAL]

DiMuto and OPAL Announce Agrifood Fintech Partnership to Tackle Trillion Dollar Global Trade Finance Gap

  • DiMuto, a global trade solutions platform, joins forces with OPAL, a Major Payment Institution (MPI) providing money transfer solutions, to conduct agrifood trade payments on the blockchain
  • The partnership will see a DiMuto Payment module that allows direct payment on the DiMuto Platform, enabling visibility of movement of money according to trades conducted and tracked on the platform
  • The new payment module will leverage OPAL’s expertise in payment and financing solutions for SMEs that include multi-currency cross-border transactions, with highly competitive Fx rates that is cheaper than conventional methods, as well as ability to conduct safe and secure transactions to over 100 countries
  • The digital payments collaboration between the two firms will form the foundation for DiMuto’s trade financing solution targeted at servicing unbanked Small-Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the agri-perishable sector
  • Covid-19 has worsened the US$1.9 trillion global trade finance gap, estimated by experts to be as high as US$3.4 trillion now, with SMEs in emerging economies being hardest hit. SMEs have long faced difficulties accessing formal financing due to factors like creditworthiness, collateral requirements, short-term liquidity, and political or currency risk.
  • By using technology like blockchain, cloud, IoT and AI to create combined visibility between movement of goods and movement of money on DiMuto Platform, DiMuto enables primary data collection for valuable insights into trade health and credit score, reducing financing risks and making trade financing more accessible for SMEs.

Singapore, 26 April 2021 – DiMuto, a global agri-fintech trade solutions company that provides end-to-end supply chain visibility for global agrifood trade, has partnered with OPAL, a Major Payment Institution (MPI) licensed by Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), to provide payment services on the blockchain-powered DiMuto Platform. The two companies are collaborating to bring together the strengths of both companies to innovate and transform the future of payments and financing in the agrifood trade space. Working together provides an exciting opportunity to leverage OPAL’s expertise in international payment, multi- currency wallets, FX management and financing solutions alongside DiMuto’s strong network of agrifood clientele, robust trade digitalization technology and capability to collect asset- based data.

DiMuto and OPAL will develop a new first-of-its-kind payment module that will allow DiMuto’s agrifood customers to make payments directly tagged to the movement of goods on the DiMuto Platform, creating visibility of both the movement of goods and money for physical agrifood products tracked with DiMuto’s existing trade digitalization technology.

The DiMuto Payment module taps on OPAL’s expertise in servicing SMEs with payment and financing solutions. OPAL aims to be One Account for Payments and Loans (OPAL) for SMEs, by simplifying payment processes, lowering fees and providing easier access to financing. OPAL is able to facilitate safe and secure cross-border transactions in over 100 financial corridors with multi-currency accounts and competitive Fx rates that are cheaper than conventional banking methods. With the new DiMuto Payment module, DiMuto’s agrifood customers will be able to conduct transactions that are in full compliance with Singapore regulations and international AML/CFT standards.

“We are excited to bring our experience in the financial, payments and technology industry to the collaboration with DiMuto. The partnership gives OPAL an opportunity to reach more small and medium businesses globally, particularly in the agrifood and perishables trade, that have not been serviced by traditional banking institutions. We look forward to helping them accelerate their growth with complex payments made easy,” said Lim Ming Wang, Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of OPAL.

The digital payments collaboration establishes the first step to DiMuto’s trade financing solution for the unbanked SMEs in the agri-perishables sector that have traditionally been unable to access financing from conventional banking institutions. Despite being the largest contributors to employment and economic development, SMEs have struggled to obtain formal financing, due to factors including creditworthiness, collateral requirements, short- term liquidity, and political or currency risks. Asian Development Bank (ADB) found that over 40% of trade finance applications by SMEs are rejected and the global trade finance gap is a staggering US$1.5 trillion in 2019 and is projected by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) to increase to US$3.4 trillion due to Covid-19. The exponential trade finance gap impedes the effort to reduce poverty and minimize inequality, two of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

By capturing and developing primary trade data through trade digitalization, DiMuto effectively reduces the risks associated with trade financing. With both visibility of movement of physical goods and movement of money on the DiMuto Platform, DiMuto can now further develop data-driven agrifood asset financing.

“At DiMuto, our vision is to power global agrifood trade with visibility. We have built a powerful platform that combines IoT, cloud, blockchain, and AI technology in our journey to bring visibility to global trade,” said Gary Loh, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of DiMuto. “By partnering OPAL to enable direct payments on our platform, we are moving closer to this goal as this creates a complete solution tying the movement of goods to the movement of money. With this, we can transform global trade by tackling the financing needs of the unbanked agrifood market.”

The partnership between DiMuto and OPAL will enable trade that traditional trade finance cannot effectively support. DiMuto is implementing AI, machine learning capabilities, and new predictive analytic algorithms for valuable insights into the trade health and credit score of agrifood companies to develop alternative financing and insurance services for the global agrifood market.

Lim Ming Wang, Co-Founder and COO of OPAL, with Gary Loh, Founder and CEO of DiMuto at the MoU Signing Ceremony

-end-

About OPAL

OPAL is a leading provider of end-to-end, regulated payment solutions based on a robust, proven platform and proprietary technology. Founded by a team of seasoned professionals with significant experience in financial solutions, banking, regulatory issues, cross-border payments and money management, OPAL offers a broad set of financial solutions to help clients meet their diverse needs in today’s ever-changing financial and business environment. OPAL is licensed as a Major Payment Institution (MPI) by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

For more information, please visit www.opalpayment.com.

About DiMuto

DiMuto provides agrifood companies with data they can see and trust, down to every single product of every trade, where they can easily see all that is happening for every trade transaction in an organized manner, on one single platform.

DiMuto simplifies every step of global trade – from produce, trade to market, DiMuto provide sales, marketing, operations, financing and insurance tools so businesses can trade better. Equipped with a data-backed growth roadmap, companies can now navigate the complex global trade landscape with ease and focus on what matters – growing a thriving international business.

With Visible Trade, DiMuto powers companies and the world forward with confidence.

Since 2019, DiMuto has successfully tracked and traced over millions of pieces in produce and millions in dollars of trade value on our platform, working with a global portfolio of clients in over ten countries and five continents. DiMuto is founded by Chief Executive Officer Mr Gary Loh, who is also the Executive Chairman of First Alverstone Group. For more information, please visit www.dimuto.io.

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Consumers Don’t Trust Sustainable Labels. How Supply Chain Transparency Can Change This

A Growing Demand For Sustainable Foods

It has been a year of living with the Covid-19 pandemic, and it has impacted consumer preferences and business practices when it comes to food sustainability and food labelling.

Clean Labels are a key trend this year – As countries around the world enter various states of lockdowns, more consumers are looking to buy healthier, more sustainable foods to cook at home, turning their attention to food labels for information on the origin and ingredients. Between 2013 and 2018, sales of products with sustainability claims increased 29%, according to a study by NYU Stern center for Sustainable Businesses and IRI.

Consumer’s Distrust of Sustainable Labels

Yet, consumers are not finding the information they need or trust on the labels. In Singapore, while 35% of consumers are willing to pay a premium for sustainable alternatives, 23% do not trust the sustainability claims of businesses. In the US, a FoodThink study showed nearly half of consumers who regularly buy food for their households do not trust the industry to do the right thing. Worldwide, due to the lack of transparent product-level information, there has been increased skepticism amongst consumers that brands are simply greenwashing their products.

Foods Labelled as Fairtrade  (Source)

This problem is evidenced by the low level of influence current sustainable label packaging has on consumer food choices. Research has shown that while consumers view sustainability as an important issue, when it comes to individual food choices, sustainable logos do not play a major role in consumers’ food choices.

One explanation for this curious paradox might be that consumers do not trust current sustainability labels. In his book Organic: a journalist’s quest to discover the truth behind food labeling, Peter Laufer details how sustainability labels are hardly regulated and untransparent, making it difficult for consumers to verify these labels.

Sustainability Certification is Not Enough

At the same time, the disruption of global food supply chains caused by the pandemic has renewed the impetus for businesses to make their supply chains more sustainable and resilient. Increasingly, they are turning to certifications as a way to show consumers that they are taking active steps to address sustainability.

While effective in ensuring the adoption of more sustainable practices in certified entities, it is clear that sustainable certification alone is not enough.

Due to the complexity of modern food supply chains, there is an inherent disconnect between sustainability practices done on the upstream at the farm, and the product data that the end consumers at the tail end of the supply chain receives. There is thus a need for fully transparent sustainability labels that is able to show sufficient provenance information.

DiMuto Traceability Labels

With DiMuto, agrifood companies can now track food products from farm to fork, combining the physical product movement along with documentation.

This visibility can be achieved down to each individual product and carton, by labelling every product and carton with the DiMuto Traceability Label. Product movement through critical supply chain milestones like the packing, transport and receiving stages is then tracked on the blockchain and combined with relevant certificates and trade documents. This ensures an immutable, holistic view of product provenance.

 

DiMuto Traceability label

All these traceability information tracked can be easily communicated to consumers using the same label. By simply scanning the DiMuto QR code on food products like fresh fruits and produce, consumers are brought to DiMuto SMART Marketing Product Page, where they can now view the DiMuto Product Passport.

The DiMuto Product Passport

With the DiMuto Product Passport, consumers are able to access a passport showing verified, important provenance data  related to the product that they just purchased. Supply chain data tracked on the blockchain-powered DiMuto Platform can now be succinctly shared as part of the DiMuto SMART Marketing Product Page.

DiMuto Product Passport

They can view and verify product-related certificates such as organic certifications using the Singapore-government backed third-part validation tool TradeTrust. (To learn more about how DiMuto uses TradeTrust, click here) Consumers can also access the product movement timeline showing each supply chain milestone.

Not only so, the SMART Marketing Product Page allows brands to do more than just share verified traceability data. Brands can also communicate their brand story, sharing more regarding where the fruit was grown, and how the process is organic, sustainable or fair-trade, and even get feedback or host campaigns on the same page.

DiMuto SMART Marketing

With this, agrifood businesses can now easily communicate their product-level traceability information to end consumers. DiMuto can help companies improve consumers’ trust in their sustainability labels. It is likely we will see more consumers make sustainable food choices with transparent, verified sustainability labels, helping to make the global food supply a truly sustainable one.

If you are interested to learn more about our solutions, please contact sales@dimuto.io.

 

 

 

How DiMuto uses TradeTrust Blockchain Validation to Strengthen Trust in Global Trade

The Problem with Trade Documents in Global Trade

In today’s digital age, it may be surprising that the document trail for international trade is still very much physical.

Due to the complex nature of cross-border trade transactions, there are often many different parties involved across multiple geographies involved, most of whom use fragmented systems that do not harmonize with each other.  The continuance of paper-based processes persists because currently there is no easy way to verify the authenticity of these trade documents.

businesswoman-putting-stamp-documents-office
Manual, physical documents are the default for international trade

Time and money spent on paperwork continues to be a significant cost of conducting cross-border trade – Research done by IBM and Maersk has shown that the costs associated with trade documents processing can cost up to one-fifth of the actual physical transportation costs. Today, exporters need to dispatch the physical documents to consignee in their destination markets, despite having already sent the documents on other digital channels like emails and messaging applications. Thus, it is not uncommon that the goods can be shipped faster than the documents are processed.

The usage of physical trade documents inherently poses a high level of risk, mainly from falsified documentation. According to CNBC article, there has been a rise in falsified trade documents in the last five to ten years. High-tech photocopiers can duplicate trade documents like the bill of lading, in the original ink colours, and add fake information.

Due to the difficulty of distinguishing the real documents from forged ones, fake documents can be used to obtain loans from the banks and increases the risks for all involved parties including legitimate buyers and financial institutions providing trade financing services. The 2020 high-profile case of trade finance fraud by Hin Leong Trading, a Singaporean oil trading company that allegedly forged an email and documents, is proof that reliance on physical documents is a huge vulnerability.  The adeptness of forgers are forcing banks like OCBC to look into going digital and using blockchain for the US$9 trillion global trade finance industry.

What is TradeTrust?

Together with the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the Singapore government launched TradeTrust, a set of globally-accepted standards and frameworks that is connected to a public blockchain supporting the exchange of electronic trade documents between governments and businesses.

TradeTrust aims to digitalize global trade and eliminate the inefficiencies caused by manual trade documents and verification processes. TradeTrust works to ensure there is legal harmonisation across multiple countries and jurisdiction for legal validity of digital trade documents, and promote internationally accepted standards that facilitates interoperability of digital documents exchanged across platforms.

Most recently, the Australian Border Force (ABF) started a blockchain trial with Singapore Customs and Singapore Infocomm media Development Authority (IMDA) to digitally verify electronic Certificates of Origin (COO).

How DiMuto uses TradeTrust

The Tradetrust verification is integrated onto the DiMuto Platform. Trade documents that are uploaded onto the DiMuto Platform are automatically pushed onto TradeTrust, allowing users and relevant parties to verify the authenticity of their documents.

When a trade document is uploaded on the DiMuto platform, it is identified uniquely by a Document Hash and saved as a signed TradeTrust JSON file – this JSON file serves as a unique fingerprint that is then recorded on the public Ethereum blockchain.

 

DiMuto’s Trade Contract Timeline captures the documents uploaded and our platform automatically creates a TradeTrust identifier that can be easily verified

This record will be visible on the DiMuto platform to users and relevant trade parties, who can then drag and drop this JSON file onto tradetrust.io and verify the file.

Users will be able to see that a DiMuto certificate of authenticity that verifies the document has been uploaded on the blockchain

Due to the usage of the public blockchain, this allows any relevant parties that have this JSON.file to verify the validity of the trade document on TradeTrust, creating greater level of trust in digital trade documents. By integrating TradeTrust onto our system, DiMuto helps to create trust between trade partners and strengthens the validity of the digital trade documents.

This can help government agencies and authorities that issue certificates and want to verify the validity of these certificates.  For instance, agricultural ministries that issue Certificate of Origins, and global certification bodies like the Global G.A.P that is recognized in over 100 countries, can simply utilize TradeTrust verification tool to verify certificates that have been uploaded on the DiMuto platform. Due to the unique identifying quality of the TradeTrust file, as well as the immutability from using the public blockchain, this can significantly reduce the room for fraudulent certification and speed up the time it takes to verify certificates, reducing the friction brought about by physical documents for global trade.

If you are interested to learn more about our solutions, please contact sales@dimuto.io.

COVID-19 and Its Impacts on AgFood Trends in 2021

It is likely that the pandemic will not be resolved overnight in its second year running. While Covid-19 has caused disruptive shocks to global food supply chains around the world at first, more lasting effects of the virus can definitely be felt on the agricultural and agtech landscape for the rest of 2021.

Renewed Focus on Sustainability

Sustainability and sustainable recovery are the latest buzzwords when it comes to discussion on how a post-covid world would look like, given the mainstream thought that climate change may have played a contributing role to the rise of the pandemic – many factors that cause climate change increases the risk of pandemics according to Harvard Chan C-CHANGE.

For consumers, this has translated to an increased focus on sustainable foods and clean labels.

Research by Palsgaard A/S has shown that four in ten consumers view environmental concerns are now more important when making food purchases since covid-19, and that two-thirds of consumers would be more willing to buy products from a company if they knew it used sustainably sourced ingredients.

Focused African American man reading information on packaging. Concentrated bearded guy buying food at supermarket. Shopping concept
Consumer reading food label at the supermarket

At the same time, there has been more consumer demand for clean label foods, foods that are made as naturally as possible with simple, easily recognizable ingredients that are produced in a manner that is healthy for the planet as well.

According to Mordor Intelligence, sales of clean label ingredients are projected to grow 6.75% annually to $51.1 billion by 2024, with the impact of COVID-19 pushing sales figures higher.

This will likely see suppliers and manufacturers ramp up on sustainability in their sourcing, production and supply chain processes, and communicating this to consumers through branding and marketing in 2021 and beyond.

Doubling Down on Food Traceability & “Messy Middle” Supply Chain

Covid-19 food scares have been aplenty since the pandemic’s onset, with China halting imports of European salmon after traces of the coronavirus had been found on chopping boards used for imported salmon at the Xinfadi market, commonly thought to be the epicentre of the initial outbreak.

That caused Chinese consumers to avoid salmon, hitting the industry hard.

Cherries
Fresh Cherries

Most recently in January this year, there were claims on Chinese social media that Chilean cherries contained traces of the virus. The inner packaging of the batch of cherries tested covid-19 positive, and all unsold cherries from the same batch in Wuxi, the Jiangsu Province, have been collected and are ready for destruction, which could potentially result in massive food waste.

Although there still exists much uncertainty over the validity of these claims and the origins of the affected cherries, the whole imported fruits industry in China has been badly affected. In particular, cherry prices have plunged 90% and sellers have to resort to showing certificates of nucleic acid tests to help boost sales.

Thus, blockchain and its application for recording verified, immutable information from all stakeholders of the supply chain will definitely be a contender as part of the solution.

At the same time, product digitization will need to happen in order for food traceability to be fully effective. This gives industry players the ability to confirm the quality of the product as it moves along the supply chain, particularly through the “Messy Middle”.

Fintech For Food

It is no secret that working capital is a source of friction in global food trade. Due to the seasonality of the industry, agribusinesses have significant short-term working capital needs in the form of advances to farmers and huge inventory.

We’ve previously talked about how supply chain visibility is vital for cash flow management of agribusinesses in Covid-19. At the same time, this supply chain visibility also has potential for tapping on the unbanked or underbanked Messy Middle agribusinesses, who often are unable to obtain financing for their trades due to the industry being deemed too risky, too complex and opaque, and provide them alternative financing opportunities.

Technologies like blockchain, digital wallets and e-currencies also help to establish trust and facilitate transparency that break down the barriers to trade financing access for the agriculture industry. These have already made headway in terms of smallholder farmer financing, but the biggest potential lie in the Messy Middle, where the bulk of goods exchange hands and the biggest challenges lie. For instance, this can help small and medium traders and retailers, who often find it difficult to sustain business during covid, to get access to credit.

It is also telling of the potential of blockchain when the likes of governments, such as in Singapore and China, have also recently committed to significant resources to develop blockchain capabilities of their country.

The overall undercurrent theme for 2021 seems to be data, where visibility of flow of goods and flow of money needs to be achieved, so that we can really ensure that our food systems are efficient and visible, and that food is sustainable and safe for both people and planet.

If you are interested to learn more about our solutions, please contact sales@dimuto.io.

CEO Gary Loh Joins Produce Marketing Association Global Development Committee

DiMuto CEO Gary Loh has been invited to join Produce Marketing Association’s Global Development Committee for 2021.

The Produce Marketing Association (PMA) is a trade organization representing companies from every segment of the global fresh produce and floral supply chain. PMA aims to connect, inform and deliver industry solutions to enhance members’ prosperity and is increasingly seen as a trusted resource and thought leader for the growth of the global produce and floral industry.

The Global Development Committee (GDC) is a committee aiming to foster global business connections and intelligence for current and future PMA members, and support the global growth strategy of PMA. The GDC works to identify global issues that impact the produce and floral industries and is the first line of sight to identify global opportunities for growth. It is also part of PMA’s overall mission to bring global fruit and vegetable and floral communities together in order to cultivate a healthier world.

Recently, the PMA GDC has met up in Singapore to understand the challenges and opportunities faced by producers in Southeast Asia markets, as well as in Spain, a European leader in production of fruits and vegetables, so as to provide solutions to challenges in these economies.

“A lack of visibility in the Messy Middle of global produce supply chains has contributed to problems with food safety and food waste. The pandemic has hit the industry hard, and there has been much conversation around how technology like blockchain can help to solve some of the problems faced by the value chain. I look forward to helping PMA and its members explore applicable solutions for challenges faced by the global fresh produce and floral industry, ” said Gary Loh, Chief Executive Officer of DiMuto.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has led to widespread disruption of the fresh produce industry, driving change at a rapid pace, affecting the way the fresh produce industry works, lives, eats, moves and uses technology. Looking at how the industry can work towards becoming more resilient towards such disruptions, as well as recovery growth opportunities in the various markets will be a key focus for the incoming committee,” from Nancy Tucker, Vice President, Global Business Development of PMA.

Listen to PMA’s podcast PMA Takes on Tech, and join our CEO Gary Loh, along with Vonnie Estes, VP of Technology at PMA, Seana Day, Partner at Better Food Ventures and Kim Rui, Global Head, FreshCloud Infrastructure and Analytics at AgroFresh, as they discuss how technology can help growers, packers and shippers along the value chain, especially in The First Mile and Messy Middle.

Access the podcast here – https://bit.ly/2UEoRwg