The Digital Supply Chain: Why Digitalizing Produce is Key to Accessing Trade Finance

Digitalized Produce Trade Financing

This is the third article in the series “The Digital Supply Chain”. This series explores what is digitalization, reasons for digitalization and best methods for digitalization of agri-food supply chains.

Trade Financing is Essential to Global Trade

According to the WTO, trade financing powers over 80% to 90% of global trade worth $15trn a year.  Importers, or buyers, naturally want to make payments as late as possible, often having longer payment terms while exporters, or sellers, need to obtain payments for their goods immediately – creating a conflict of interest at the crux of this business relationship. Thus, import and export transactions are heavily dependent on trade financing, which facilitates the trade process of exporters receiving payments and importers receiving their goods.

Challenges faced by fresh produce growers doing global trade

For the fresh produce trade, valued at $115bn in 2017, the sheer volume of transactions and transportation which must be conducted across borders in order to ensure buyers have consistent supplies of fruit can cause severe cash flow issues in otherwise healthy accounts receivable. This is compounded by the fact that revenue streams are affected by the seasonality of the industry, making managing cash flow critical for sustainable growth in the produce trade. For instance, without additional working capital, produce exporters would find it challenging to reach their goals of expanding to new markets and strengthening their relationships with current customers.

Challenges faced by SMEs

Small and medium businesses often have very limited access to loans and other forms of interim financing to cover the cost of goods they plan to buy or sell. Even with a confirmed purchase order, many banks typically still will not provide loans for such transactions. A global survey conducted by Asian Development Bank, reveals a global trade finance gap of a staggering $1.5 trn in 2019, with over 40% of SME trade finance applications being rejected by banks.

According to a report from the International Trade Centre, a joint agency of the WHO and United Nations, main barriers to SME financing include long and tedious process of assessing, monitoring and managing SME loans translating to high costs of SME loans. This is due to a lack of readily available and verifiable information on the company’s background, financial statements, credit histories, as well as a lack of available collateral and an efficient way to verify the quality of the collateral.

Thus, for small and medium agrifood and produce players, getting the trade financing they need to grow their produce trade business is a problem.

How Digitalizing Produce Can Solve The Problem

Digitalized produce can help small and medium produce businesses overcome such barriers and get access to trade financing. As mentioned in our previous article, digitalised produce is simply a physical produce that has a digital identity. At DiMuto, we help to digitalise produce by tagging each fruit or vegetable with a QR Label. The QR Label acts as a digital identifier for each fruit and contains data pertaining to the fruit.

Hence, when you digitalize physical assets such as produce, asset tracking is now possible – the identity, movement and condition of individual products and cartons can now be easily tracked and traced, improving the economic lifetime of such physical products as found in a study by the Community of Practice consisting of Rabobank, Allen & Overy, Schiphol Group, Avery Dennison on behalf of the NBA (The Royal Netherlands Institute of Chartered Accountants), Circularise, Everledger, Fairphone, Sustainable Finance Lab and Circle Economy. Transparency on the information, movement, and condition of assets gives produce companies a better grip on their assets and hence might improve the value of the asset as collateral to underwrite a loan. As tracking of these assets improves the accuracy of forecasted cash flows and control over assets, it lowers the risk profile of produce businesses and increases their chances to obtain funding.

DiMuto helps agrifood and produce companies to digitalize their produce by providing physical asset digitalization – meaning we assign a digital identity to every single physical produce, and are able to capture a photo of each carton and product before each carton is sealed, upload this photo and associate it to the specific sales order it was packed for. The visual photo ascertaining the quality of the produce, as well as the ability to trace and track individual physical produce can make the verification of collateral quality more efficient and verifiable, lowering the barriers to trade financing for agrifood players, particularly small and medium growers, packers, and buyers that do not traditionally have such access to such financing.

Every fruit now has a digital identity thanks to DiMuto QR codes

At the packhouse: Our Digital Asset Creation machine, otherwise known as DACky

Every carton has an identity and can now be tracked

Learn more about how we digitalize produce via the video above

DiMuto Trade Solutions

However, digitalizing produce is just one part of the equation. A platform that is able to collect and verify all the information regarding the produce is equally important. That is why DiMuto’s trade platform is blockchain-enabled. With its ability to upload immutable trade documents, blockchain has the potential to share verified documents relating to each trade in a secure and efficient manner.

The moment a physical asset like fresh produce can be digitalized, businesses can easily track not only the movement of the product but also critical product information such as quality, health certificates, certificate of origins, product photos tagged to the specific individual product, as well as relevant trade documents surrounding each supply chain transaction.

Such data is first captured in secure, sequenced blocks of information under the productʼs digital identity and automatically uploaded onto our blockchain-powered Track & Trace Trade Platform. This means that all the related information needed when trying to apply for trade financing is now readily available on our platform.

We then work with financiers, who because of the transparency of information gathered onto our platform, have greater confidence in providing financing for such produce trades of our customers. We recently helped to finance US$2 million worth of durian trades, which you can read more about it here.

If you are interested to learn more about how DiMuto helps create traceability for fresh produce, please reach us here or drop us an email at

DiMuto – Top 20 Start-ups for Fruit Logistica 2020

DiMuto Fruit Log Start up Day Gary Loh

DiMuto was selected by Fruit Logistica Berlin as an innovative startup for its 2020 Start-up Day. Fruit Logistica is the largest global fresh produce industry exposition, bringing together more fresh produce buyers than any other industry event in the world with nearly 80,000 visitors from 135 countries attended Fruit Logistica in 2019.

This year’s theme for Start-up Day is “Disrupt Agriculture”, which is what DiMuto aims to do by digitalizing fresh produce and getting the supply chain data to revolutionize the whole supply chain through traceability, trade financing and market access.

DiMuto Fruit Log Start up Day Gary Loh Pitch Stage

Founder Gary Loh presenting DiMuto solutions at the Start-up Stage during Start-up Day of Fruit Logistica 2020.

Fruit Logistica 2020 Start-up Day DiMuto

DiMuto is one of the top 20 start-ups selected to be featured.

DiMuto Fruit Log Start up Day Top 20 Start Ups

The total export trade for fresh produce has developed more rapidly than the total global trade in goods in the past ten years – The high growth of cross-border produce trade has also magnified problems of conducting such trade. Supply chain transparency can help solve such issues, and we take a look at what are the key considerations for applicable, scalable supply chain solutions in order to disrupt agriculture. We talk about “Disrupting Agriculture”, the theme for this year’s Start-up Day, and what it means to DiMuto on our blog. Read more here.


The Future of Food Traceability

One of the key benefits of digitalizing agrifood supply chains is being able to trace and track food products more easily, thus having more visibility of food supply chains. In lieu of food safety scares, food fraud and food sustainability, food traceability has become a prominent area of focus for many food industry players, food and health authorities, as well as solutions providers.

Consumers Want Greater Levels of Traceability

There has been a burgeoning focus on food journeys and origins as consumers now want to know more about the origins of foods they’re purchasing and consuming. A survey done by the International Food Information Council (IFIC) Foundation found that over half of US consumers surveyed indicated that recognizing the ingredients and understanding where food is from as key factors that affect purchasing decisions. In the UK, 8 in 10 consumers check the origin of their food when purchasing them – ensuring that their food originates from where it is advertised as coming from is important to them.

And the need for traceability and focus on food origins is likely to continue growing. The Center for Food Integrity predicts the number of consumers concerned about the origin of their food will hit nearly 50 million by 2021, with a significant number of them from the younger generation, who are typically more concerned with ethical food choices.

Information about origins and methods of production, with its storytelling ability, comes with huge marketing opportunities to shape the narrative of our foods. Research conducted by the University of Copenhagen’s Future Consumer Lab found that consumers tend to think food tastes better when they know where it came from and how it was made.

Thus, there is a real need for players in the food ecosystem such as food manufacturers, produce growers and suppliers, retailers to meet the demand for such information about their products.

Food Safety Concerns Continue in Asia

According to the FAO, food safety continues to be a concern in Asia. The infant milk powder fraud in China back in 2008, otherwise known as the melamine milk crisis, resulted in the death of at least six babies and a swift response to improve food safety regulations and practices throughout Asia. During the world’s first Food Safety Day in 2019, FAO said that the Asia-Pacific region has a poor track record when it comes to preventing foodborne illnesses, resulting in the deaths of 225,000 people each year, and affecting over 275 million people annually. This shows that there is much to be done still when it comes to food safety.

In Singapore, food safety is also top of mind. The government set out a 30 by 30 mandate in 2019, aiming 30% of Singapore’s food supply has to be homegrown to bolster its food security by 2030. A new statutory board, Singapore Food Agency, has also been created to focus on food safety and food security.

Food safety scares also carries heavy burdens on companies –  Food recalls cost companies an average of $10 million in direct costs alone and reputational damages. Consumers are wary to purchase products that were previously recalled or deemed unsafe for consumption –  A Harris Interactive survey shows that 16% of consumers would never buy a recalled food product again, and 17% of people impacted by a recall would not buy any product from the same manufacturer.

Challenges of Food Traceability Due to Globalized Supply Chains

Between 2000 and 2016, world agricultural trade increased more than threefold in value, rising to USD 1.6 trillion in 2016. While this burgeoning trade provides more food options on our plates, it also creates new risks. With longer and more complex supply chains giving rise to the “Messy Middle”, tracking from farm to fork requires increased scrutiny and accountability throughout the process.

The difficulty here is that each stage of the supply chain depends on one another for full visibility. One weak link could break the whole flow of information, which traceability heavily relies on. It is more difficult to ensure that ingredients and finished products are safe to eat when the responsibility for food safety is spread over many different business partners, as most do not know each other and information is all over the place, yet they all have to work as one to ensure food remains free from contamination at every stage of the supply chain.

Traceability Technologies

With the challenges of food traceability, several traceability technologies have popped up to tackle the problem. There are four aspects to traceability:

1. What is The Data Being Captured 

Details about the product information such as origins, company involved, product health certificates and certificates of origins should be captured.

At the same time, product information is closely related to trade information – i.e. purchase orders, sales orders, invoices all should be captured alongside the product information such that we can easily track and trace the movement of the product as it exchanges hands.

2. How is the Data Being Captured

It would be infinitely complex to try and capture all this information at every single stage of the supply chain. A clever way to capture essential information would be to capture the data at a point of aggregation in the supply chain. For instance, DiMuto helps packing houses to digitalize their fresh and frozen produce, and capture relevant product and trade information for each product and it has worked because packing houses would have the relevant farm information from the farms they purchase from.

DiMuto technology used at the largest Thai Durian exporter’s packing house

Then the question of how to efficiently digitalize each product and associate to the data that we are capturing arises. The operational aspect of tagging and tracking each physical item also comes into question as every company has different operations across the various markets.

Firstly, easy-to-scan produce codes have to be implemented to allow easy, digital identification of products. Universal standards have to be created and adhered to so that the identification code can easily be used and read by all partners in the supply chain, including consumers. For instance, GS1, the most widely-used supply chain standards system in the world, has introduced a GS1 QR Code standards that DiMuto has adopted.

Then, using our propriety DACky machines, DiMuto is able to assign a digital identity to every single physical produce, and are able to capture a photo of each carton and product before each carton is sealed, upload this photo and associate it to the specific sales order it was packed for. Thus linking the physical product to the relevant digital data for traceability of both product and trade.

3. Where is the Data Stored

Supply chain players have turned to blockchain technology as a new, effective way to build trust due to its ability to validate, record, as well as distribute transactions in immutable, encrypted ledgers.

DiMuto uses blockchain, AI and IoT in our Track & Trace platform to provide supply chain partners full visibility. It is important to note that blockchain does not prevent errors, but instead places responsibility on the supply chain players with regards to what they declare. What anyone declares, whether it is right or wrong, voluntarily or not, will be analyzed and processed thanks to the immutability of the source of each data. Thus, we are able to show who made the error, and what was the error, if any, in each trade.

4. How Can We Communicate the Data Effectively? 

At the same time, besides solving traceability amongst B2B supply chain partners, traceability solutions have to link back to the end consumers who are ultimately the ones demanding for higher transparency. This is where the easy-to-scan codes come in, as the DiMuto QR labels are easily scanned by consumers to access the relevant information about the product.

We also provide a consumer marketing solution that can help companies to brand their products.

DiMuto Consumer Solution Marketing

DiMuto Consumer Marketing Solution

A Need for Applicable, Interoperable & Customer-Centric Solutions

At the same time, we cannot ignore the fact that many companies will choose to adopt in-house solutions for traceability. However, given the interconnectedness of our agrifood supply chain, solutions that will work in a scalable manner will have to be interoperable and be able to speak to different systems while still maintaining the truth. That is why DiMuto solutions are interoperable, and we work with IBM Food Trust such that our customers can easily provide important information mandated by major retailers like Walmart and Carrefour while using the DiMuto system.

The application of traceability technology has to be well thought out. Data being captured, shared and verified with the blockchain, can now be used for a multitude of purpose – trade financing, data analytics, QR marketing, trading with new trusted partners and more. That is why DiMuto offers a 360 trade solutions so that we can help our customers better their trade from all aspects.

Food Traceability is a promising and exciting space. Allied Market Research has predicted that the global food traceability market will reach some US$22.3bn in 2025, growing 9.3% from US$11mm in 2017. Thus, it is likely we will see new developments in Food Traceability in the next few years.

If you are interested to learn more about how DiMuto helps create traceability for fresh produce, please reach us here or drop us an email at

Disrupting Agriculture 2020 – How Can We Solve Challenges of Produce Trade?

Disrupting Agriculture Start Up Day Fruit Logistica 2020

“Disrupting Agriculture” is the theme for Start-up Day 2020, an event organized by Fruit Logistica, the largest global exposition for the fresh produce industry. With the boom in agtech innovation in the last few years, the produce industry is indeed ripe for disruption.

The wave of new technology trends such as vertical farming, agriculture robotics, smart farming is spurred by problems affecting the supply side of our food supply. Vertical farming has been seen as the next big solution to mitigating climate change and climate-related natural disasters threatening food security, while labour shortages have long plagued farmers prompting the adoption of mechanization and robotics technology – As many as 40% of farmers in California have regularly been unable to fulfill labour required for crop production for the past five years.

Export Fruit Trade as Key Driving Force of Agriculture Industry

While there have been many companies coming up with solutions to solve the problems mentioned above, it is also worth looking at the key driving force behind the global fresh produce and agriculture industry. According to a 2018 FreshPlaza report, the total export trade in fresh fruit and vegetables has developed more rapidly than the total global trade in goods in the past ten years. The international trade in fresh fruit increased by an average of 2 million tonnes per year to about 80 million tonnes in the past 10 years, and the five key trade flows pegs Southeast Asia as the growth market. Mutual trade flows in Southeast Asia performed best with the largest absolute growth in global trade flows of fresh fruit to almost 8 million tonnes worth of fruit a year, as well as rapid growth of exports from North America, Latin America and the rest of the world into Southeast Asia.

fresh apples packed

Apples, Citrus, Bananas, Grapes are amongst the top exported fruits. 

Trade Dispute: Huge Problem of Companies Doing Export Trade

The high growth of cross border trade in the produce industry has also magnified the problems of conducting produce trade. Problems like trade disputes over food quality can cause up to 5-10% loss per container of fruit exports. Food safety issues, a rampant problem of the industry, often result in entire batches of produce being rejected or destroyed, creating millions of losses. It is no wonder that the need for supply chain and trade transparency was one of the key highlights during Produce Marketing Association (PMA)’s 2019 Tech Knowledge event to solve the “Messy Middle” of global produce supply chains.

Supply Chain Transparency Solves The “Messy Middle”

Supply chain transparency has been little more than a buzzword due to the overwhelming complexity of food systems. While industry giants such as Walmart, Carrefour and Nestle have started implementing traceability solutions in a bid for more transparency, it has been difficult for supply chain transparency to gain more traction throughout the industry. There are limited players that have adopted traceability solutions. This is mainly because the produce supply chain simply involves too many moving parts and stakeholders, and no one traceability solution has been able to work for all the players.

Getting Supply Chain Transparency to Work

For supply chain transparency to work, it is important to target the meat of the problem – getting the data from physical produce.

What does this mean? Millions of physical cartons of fresh produce products are being moved every day,  yet there has not been a way to effectively and efficiently track them, as well as easily access information related to each carton, nor prove the quality of the produce. A key obstacle would be digitalizing the produce and the carton it is packed in. Without a digital identity, it would be extremely difficult to track. (We previously talked about digitalized produce here)

Operational aspects also need to be considered for digitalizing produce to be applicable.  They include being able to efficiently capture all the digital identities of the produce and cartons as they move through packing lines on the ground so that there are minimal disruptions to existing workflows. Not all packing houses are created equal – some are highly automated, while others are still largely manual. Thus for traceability solutions to work down to the product level, it is important to cater to the needs of different produce companies.

At the same time, digital identities need to be easily readable by all supply chain stakeholders. A good solution would be to adopt GS1 Standards for labels, a common foundation for business by uniquely identifying, accurately capturing and automatically sharing vital information about products.

Thus, a deep level of understanding about the workings of the produce industry is key in coming up with a solution that is truly applicable and scalable. That is why at DiMuto, we have developed different machines to capture product information at the packhouse that we call Digital Asset Creation machines (DACky). Our DACky machines are designed to capture a photo of each carton and each individual produce, associate it to the relevant trade that it is packed for so as to relieve the heavy burden of proof on suppliers when it comes to trade disputes.

Not only so, DiMuto is a GS1 Solutions Partner, and we use QR Labels following GS1 Standards for all our customers, as consumers are able to easily scan the QR code for traceability information related to the product.

DiMuto Digitialized Durian QR Code

DiMuto QR Labels

Maximizing the Data from Digital Supply Chains for Added Benefits

At the same time, the benefits of adopting traceability technology have yet to be communicated well to fresh produce companies. Traceability alone is not enough to motivate industry players to adopt potential solutions. The ability to do branding with QR Marketing, as well as direct consumer engagement, is also highly attractive to brand owners looking to build their brands in new overseas markets. The potential to capture more personalized consumer data can let producers and retailers understand more about their consumers and facilitate the matching of supply and demand on the consumer level.

Another advantage of digitalizing supply chains would be trade financing – Produce companies, traditionally, never had trade financing opportunities as many financial institutions often consider the perishable industry too complex, and too high a risk. With digitalization and easily accessible supply chain information, financial institutions may be more keen to provide trade financing opportunities to fresh produce companies.

That is why DiMuto offers a 360 trade solutions platform that solves the challenges of suppliers, traders, buyers and brand owners operating in the produce trade. The ability to reduce trade disputes, access to trade financing and the opportunity to do marketing are key motivators for companies looking to adopt traceability and digitalization. Learn how we have helped provide trade financing to Thailand’s largest durian exporter here.

It is well-known that Data is king in the era of digitalization. Armed with having trusted, quality data about the agrifood supply chain, then can we truly disrupt one of the biggest driving force behind the produce industry.

DiMuto is one of the twenty startups to be selected to participate in Fruit Logistica’s Start-up Day 2020. If you are interested to learn more about how DiMuto helps create traceability for fresh produce, please reach us here or drop us an email at

Financing The World’s First Blockchained Durians – Queen Frozen Fruit

Financing the world's first blockchained durian, Queen Frozen Fruit tracked & traced fresh durians for each trade and successfully got financed for US$2million

Queen Frozen Fruit is now able to obtain visibility for all their orders, tracking & tracing every single carton and every single individual Queen Durian for their 14 packing houses in Thailand.

About Queen Frozen Fruit Queen Frozen Fruit is a Thailand-based durian manufacturer and exporter.
  • Location: Thailand
  • Industry: Fresh Produce, Durians
  • Thailand’s Largest Fresh & Frozen Durian Exporter 
  • 14 Packhouses & 4 factories throughout Thailand
  • Est. 400 containers of fresh durians sold to China every year
DiMuto Results
  • Tagged 4 million Durians in 2019
  • Helped finance US$2million worth of trades
Key Challenges: Tracking All Orders & Proving Quality of Durians Queen Frozen Fruit owns many packing houses and each day, thousands of durians are being processed and packed at each facility. In 2018, the 14 packing houses they owned exported a total of over 10 million durians, and being able to keep track of all their orders and proving the quality of the durians that they packed were key challenges that they were looking to solve. Thailand Fresh Durian Packing House Queen Frozen Fruit Fresh Durian Packing House How DiMuto Helps With our 4T Track & Trace platform, we provide both the hardware and the software portion of the solution in order for Queen Frozen Fruit to easily implement it. First, we use QR labels (in line with Queen’s branding of course), and tag them to every single durian as well as every single Queen carton. As durians are high value products, it makes sense to track on a product level. This now means that every durian and every carton is able to be digitalized and assign a digital identity. To complete the digitalization process, we provide Queen with a mobile application that allows them to scan each durian and upload it onto DiMuto Trade Platform. The mobile platform was best for the manual operations of Queen, where workers were constantly moving around and there were no fixed stations. Finally, on DiMuto Trade Platform, Queen Frozen Fruit can assign each scanned durian and each carton to the relevant trade order, and attach relevant trade documents including shipping documents, health certificates and more. Deploying DiMuto 4T Solutions to Durian Packing Houses As the operations of every supplier differ from brand to brand, country to country and product to product, DiMuto has to tailor each solution implementation. Each durian and carton is handled manually and tagged by the operations team on the ground. Each Durian is then scanned using the DiMuto Application. President of Queen, Kanjana Yaemprai, with the first carton of blockchained durians. With our platform, Queen Frozen Fruit is able to see every single durian for all their trades.

With the newly added visibility of their trades, Queen Frozen Fruit is now able to have access to financing for their trades that they were unable to obtain before.

With DiMuto-verified products and trade, Queen Frozen Fruit was able to connect with Havenport Investments, a DiMuto Trade Financing partner. They got approved to obtain financing of up to US$2million for their durian exports going to China. The financing helped to reduce problems caused by a tight cash flow, allowing Queen Frozen Fruit to pay durian farmers on time as well as have more capacity to expand their business. If you are interested to learn more about how DiMuto helps create traceability for fresh produce, please reach us here or drop us an email at

The Digital Supply Chain: How can Digitalizing Produce Helps Solve Trade Disputes

This is the second article in the series “The Digital Supply Chain”. This series explores what is digitalization, reasons for digitalization and best methods for digitalization of agri-food supply chains.

Managing agri-food supply chains is notoriously fraught with challenges. Today, global agrifood supply chains are extremely complex,  as agricultural products such as fresh produce often pass through many different stakeholders and cross international borders before finally reaching the end consumer.

The current modus operandi of modern agrifood supply chains often means that information stored at one layer of the supply chain remains accessible only at said layer. For instance, information regarding the sorting and packing process of fresh fruits into different cartons often stays at the packers – meaning only the packer knows how were the fruits sorted and what was packed and shipped for each carton.

This often results in a disconnected visibility of the supply chain where companies are unable to track products as they move across borders – creating what we in the industry call the “Messy Middle” where miscommunications, misinformation and trade disputes thrive due to the lack of data and information flows. Due to this lack of transparency, packers and suppliers find themselves facing heavy burden of proof when it comes to proving that they have packed produce of order-specified quality to buyers and retailers.

The Messy Middle of agri-food supply chains

The Unspoken Challenges of The “Messy Middle”

Operating in the “Messy Middle” is a giant nightmare for both buyers and suppliers alike. Currently, the information flow for each trade is all over the place, made more complicated with the onslaught of country-preferred instant messaging applications. Sales teams often communicate through both messaging applications and email threads, making transactions prone to miscommunications and misinformation.

Without a single trusted platform acting as a unifying depository of sales and product information categorized according to each trade conducted, internal company resources like manpower and time are predominantly allocated towards coordinating, tracking and tracing sales orders, shipping documentation, and financial payments.

With the different communication channels, there is no way to verify, find and share information in a timely and efficient manner.

This becomes a huge problem when quality disputes over goods received are raised. A Chinese apple supplier receives a quality complaint for a container order of Fuji apples from its buyer in Indonesia – “there’s a problem with the apples for order number 123, they are of poor quality”.

Now the apple packer faces an overwhelming burden of proof in trying to show that they have indeed packed their apples to the specifications of said order, as all the information regarding the trade is all over the place, and this trade dispute resolution process is only beginning to happen after the packing, transporting and receiving has been done.

Because suppliers often find it difficult to prove what happened at the point of packing, professional quality control groups are often hired in order to provide a “fair” evaluation of the quality of the products, adding yet another cost of doing the trade.

Disputes often translate to a drastic loss of margins of up to 5 – 10% per container, amounting to as much as $2,500 to $5,000, which is why such a problem is often swept under the rug. Nobody wants their competitors to know they are not doing well or there was a supposed problem with their product. Hence, a key unspoken challenge remains for players navigating this “Messy Middle” nightmare

Hear our founder explain the problems of the produce business here

Blockchain Touted As Revolutionary Supply Chain Technology

That’s why blockchain technology has come under the spotlight recently for its application to the supply chain industry.

Blockchain can publicly validate, record, as well as distribute transactions in immutable, encrypted ledgers.

With its ability to upload immutable trade documents, blockchain has the potential to share verified documents relating to each trade in a secure and efficient manner.

This means that that custody of truth is no longer with one single party within each trade, but instead, trade partners now look towards the blockchain as a source of truth and verified information.

This is also especially valuable when it comes to entering new markets and working with new buyers and suppliers. Having a single, shared platform where information on it is trusted by both parties significantly reduces the friction of conducting business.

With blockchain, buyers and suppliers can now see and agree upon the order specifications that was finalized between both parties, as well as access to relevant product information such as health certificates necessary for exports.

DiMuto goes a step further beyond blockchained trade documentation by providing physical asset digitalization – meaning we assign a digital identity to every single physical produce, and are able to capture a photo of each carton and product before each carton is sealed, upload this photo and associate it to the specific sales order it was packed for. (We previously explained what constitutes a digitalized produce here)

Our proprietary Digital Asset Creation machine, affectionately named DACky

The moment a physical asset like fresh produce can be digitalized, businesses can easily track not only the movement of the product but also critical product information such as quality, health certificates, certificate of origins, product photos tagged to the specific individual product, as well as relevant trade documents surrounding each supply chain transaction.

Such data is first captured in secure, sequenced blocks of information under the productʼs digital identity and automatically uploaded onto our blockchain-powered Track & Trace Trade Platform.

Photo of DiMutoed apples for a specific carton that had a quality dispute (Read more here)

This means packers and suppliers are now able to see the quality of the product before the products are shipped off, and access the information easily according to each sales and purchase order – greatly relieving the previous burden of proof and reducing trade disputes.

Proving The Error and Not Error-Proofing

However, it is important to note that blockchain platforms built for trade transparency shouldn’t aim to completely eradicate errors.

An error-proof system would mean greater rigidity and potentially be more costly to upkeep, and less scalable due to the operational differences between individual packers and suppliers.

As Nick Szabo, an eminent computer scientist and cryptocurrency expert, once said, “Blockchains don’t guarantee truth; they preserve truth and lies from later alteration”.

That’s why at DiMuto, we have designed our platform in a way that’s easy and intuitive for industry players to use while achieving the primary purpose of blockchain for supply chain transparency.

If you are interested to learn more about how DiMuto helps create traceability for fresh produce, please reach us here or drop us an email at

Food Sustainability in Asia 2020

2019 was the year the world saw more public awareness on climate change.

Locally, 90% of Singaporeans surveyed are aware of climate change and 79% are prepared to do more to combat it. It is clear that the public’s sentiments on climate crisis are also echoed worldwide, with an eight-country poll conducted by showing global citizens prioritizing climate change as an emergency over migration and terrorism.

Problems of Climate Change – Food Security and Sustainability

A big part of the problem with climate change is that warming temperatures threaten food security. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), food security will be increasingly affected by future climate change through yield declines -especially in the tropics – increased prices, reduced nutrient quality, and supply chain disruptions.

Source: AFP

The ongoing Australian bushfire crisis has resulted in closed roads that meant food supply running low all over Australia, threatening food security. In Perth, Coles and Woolsworth have warned consumers to expect food shortages.

Experts believe that while bushfires in Australia are an expected natural occurrence, the intensity of the latest fires were aggravated by hotter and drier conditions associated with rising temperatures, exacerbating the crisis.

In lieu of changing weather conditions associated with climate change, we can expect that global food supply chains to be greatly affected.

Thus, there is a need to improve food security and consequently the sustainability of our food systems.

Food Security and Sustainability Challenges in Asia

Asia is often heralded as the fulcrum of our global food system, being both as a producer and a consumer of critical commodities including but not limited to rice, wheat, oil crops, cereals, livestock, root vegetables, and aquaculture.

Despite this, food security is a mounting concern as farmers in Asia actually produce less food per hectare than other regions –  with the exception of Korea, no country in Asia exceeds the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) average for staple crops such as rice, soy, and corn.

Increased frequencies and intensity of climate-related disasters in Asia have been reported by the FAO to cost a staggering loss of US$48 billion. In Southeast Asia, the agriculture sector is exceptionally vulnerable to the impact of climate change due to its location in the tropics.


Natural disasters worsen food security through reduced food production, which can then cascade down to the entire food value chain, affecting livelihoods and causing economic and agricultural loss. Disasters can impact the agriculture sector through a loss of assets and rural infrastructure, and through increased disease outbreaks.

This is compounded by the fact that Asia will grow exponentially in the next ten years, adding further demand pressures on the food supply chain in the region. By 2030, Asia will have an additional 250 million population, representing a whopping 65% of the global middle class population. In ten years time, Asia will also have doubled its spending on food, amounting to over US$8 trillion.


AgriFood Tech Opportunities in Asia

One of the ways to tackle the challenges of the Asian agricultural sector would be through investing in innovative technologies that help transform the food supply chain.

The recent Asia Food Challenge report jointly produced by Temasek, PwC and Rabobank estimates that a cumulative investment of US$800 billion above existing levels over the next 10 years will be needed to grow Asia’s food and agriculture industry to a sustainable size, in order for Asia to feed itself. The majority of these investments – around US$550 billion – will enable key requirements around sustainability, safety, health, and convenience.

Efficient Marketplaces, Digital Adoption and Greater Traceability” is cited in the report as one of the five key areas of new technologies that can solve Asia’s food challenge.

Food supply chains in Asia are complex and opaque, with disconnected visibility of data. With digitalization and a marketplace platform, various agrifood industry players including smallholder farmers are able to connect the dots and have access to more information that can better match supply and demand to reduce food waste and improve efficiencies of the supply chain.

For buyers and relevant food authorities, visibility of the supply chain allows for the identification of issues in a way that was never possible before, allowing for targeted intervention in areas such as food waste. At the same time, suppliers can also get access to trade financing due to this new data.

Consumer involvement through scanning of QR codes to access food provenance and safety information allows data to be obtained, supporting growing consumer demand for greater sustainability.

2020 & Beyond

Agri-food technologies are on the rise, and more collaboration from all stakeholders ranging from corporate investors, government agencies and private businesses can be seen.

In Asia, more government policies have also focused on food sustainability.

The Malaysian government has also announced in 2019 the Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Ministry 2019-2020 Roadmap in a move to look at revitalizing the agricultural industry and strengthen food security. Five key action plans have been raised, including increasing agricultural trade export and spurring agriculture modernization.

In Singapore, the government has set out a 30 by 30 mandate, where 30% of Singapore’s food supply has to be homegrown to bolster its food security – a new statutory board, Singapore Food Agency, has also been created to focus on food safety and food security.

Given the pressing need to revolutionize Asia’s current food systems and regional governments’ push for better food security, food sustainability innovation in Asia is definitely an exciting space to watch this year.

DiMuto At Tribe Accelerator Global Demo Days

As one of the 9 startups selected to join Tribe Accelerator, a Singapore government-backed blockchain accelerator, DiMuto pitched to over 500 people during Tribe Accelerator’s Global Demo Days that took place in Singapore, Shanghai, Dubai and Abu Dhabi respectively.

DiMuto Founder and Chairman Gary Loh shared about how we help create digital identities for physical assets – for each fruit and each carton.

He also shared about our implementation successes.

On the consumer end, we can help companies engage them and collect feedback and conduct lucky draw promotions.

For the Singapore Demo Day, the team provided all attendees with an apple to showcase our consumer marketing solutions.

Real-time scanning and accessing of our marketing product page.

The batch II startups and Tribe team at Shanghai.

More photos from the Singapore Demo Day:


The Digital Supply Chain: How does Digitalizing Produce Help Solve Food Safety and Food Waste?

This is the first article in the series “The Digital Supply Chain”. This series explores what is digitalisation, reasons for digitalisation and best methods for digitalisation of agri-food supply chains.

What is a Digitalised Produce?

A digitalised produce is simply a physical produce that has a digital identity. At DiMuto, we help to digitalise produce by tagging each fruit or vegetable with a QR Label. The QR Label acts as a digital identifier for each fruit and contains data pertaining to the fruit.

DiMuto QR on Western Australia apples

It is this data that now has the potential to transform the entire food supply chain and help solve major problems faced by the industry, such as food safety and food waste.

The Global Food Safety and Food Waste Crisis

The Produce Marketing Association (PMA), a 22000 member trade organization representing companies from every segment of the global fresh produce and floral supply chain, announced the switch from generic produce Universal Product Codes (UPCs) to company and brand specific produce IDs last month, a symptom of the industry-wide need for a higher level of traceability in the produce supply chain.

Romaine Lettuce (Photo by Skitterphoto from Pexels)

The news comes hot on the heels of the fourth E.Coli outbreak linked to U.S. Romaine Lettuce in just a short span of two years. The struggle to identify specific farms that cause the disease outbreak continue to plague U.S. regulators, despite improved ability to track ingredients and pathogens in different locales. Due to this lack of traceability down to product and farm level, the FDA recalled all romaine lettuce originating from Salinas, effectively shutting down the Salinas lettuce industry. Despite having scientific validation that their products are clean and there is no cross contamination, growers are required to stop shipments.

Food safety outbreaks typically have devastating impact on farmers and suppliers who have to destroy entire crops, amounting to enormous burden on economies from disruptions or restrictions in global and regional agri-food trade, loss of food and associated income and wasted natural resources.

Strawberries being mass-dumped in Western Australia. (Photo by Jamie Michael via ABC)

The consequences of food safety outbreaks and food waste are thus felt by all stakeholders in the supply chain. According to Food Safety Magazine, a total of 382 food recalls occurred in 2018 alone. The WHO estimates that as many as 600 million people around the world fall victim to foodborne illnesses every year. The Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) of United Nations says that a third of food produced for human consumption worldwide is annually lost or wasted along the chain that stretches from farms to processing plants, marketplaces, retailers, food-service operations, and our collective kitchens, costing industrialised and developing countries a staggering $US990billion each year.

Heavy costs of global food safety issues and food waste each year

Digitalization of Produce Allows Greater Traceability

With digitalization of fresh produce, industry players and regulators are now able to track the fruits down to the product and carton level as they move through the food supply chain. Beyond scientific documentation certifying good practices that by itself deemed insufficient by regulators, supply chain stakeholders can now “see” the product and carton itself, giving them a clearer picture of produce origin.

This can be done effectively with DiMuto solutions. Our proprietary Digital Asset Creation (DAC) system, otherwise known as DACkys, are able to capture not only a photo of each product and carton, but all the information associated with said product and carton, which is accessible on our DiMuto Platform. This ability to easily see all the relevant data on a single platform brings a new level of visibility and traceability to supply chain stakeholders including growers, packers, traders, retailers, wholesalers, and regulators.

With digitalisation of produce, food authorities are now able to better identify and isolate the source of the food safety outbreak – allowing produce from other farms to continue operations and shipments, preventing economic loss and food wastage mass dumping of crops from safe farms, and tackling food wastage at the source, which may be more effective compared to existing efforts such as the “ugly produce” movement that work on solutions applicable only much further downstream of the supply chain.

Not only does this mean that there would be better food safety across the supply chain, the new level of visibility would also mean that consumers can be notified about food safety issues much earlier. Consumers were only made aware of the U.S. E. Coli outbreak 6 weeks after the authorities established Romaine Lettuce as the cause of the outbreak.

Food traceability is more meaningful when it is beyond just documentation level and benefit stakeholders throughout the global food supply chain.

If you are interested to learn more about how DiMuto helps create traceability for fresh produce, please reach us here or drop us an email at

Agri-Food Trade Tech Solutions Platform DiMuto Secures Investment from SGInnovate

[Press Release]

Agri-Food Trade Tech Solutions Platform DiMuto Secures Investment from SGInnovate

  • Through blockchain, IoT and AI, DiMuto uses data from digitalising agri-food supply chain to solve agri-food supply chain problems such as food wastage, food safety and food sustainability
  • The funding and support from the government-owned venture firm will expedite global growth for DiMuto in new target markets

Singapore, 2 December 2019 – DiMuto, a trade tech solutions platform that provides end-to-end supply chain visibility for global businesses, is the latest portfolio company under SGInnovate. DiMuto is backed by the Singapore Government-owned venture firm to tackle global trade and supply chain problems with its technology.

Using blockchain, IoT and AI in its trade solutions, DiMuto digitalizes the agri-food supply chain for data visibility and trade transparency, aiming to solve the industry’s various challenges, including the staggering US$110 billion loss stemming from food safety breaches each year, as discovered by a 2018 World Bank study.

“Food security, safety and provenance are some of the biggest issues in the global food system today. DiMuto seeks to tackle these issues with blockchain-based solutions that can bring greater transparency to the Agri-Food supply chain. This demonstrates how Deep Tech can be applied in the real world to create an impact. We are excited to support them in their journey to expand to new markets and contribute to bringing safe and sustainable food for all,” said Hsien-Hui Tong, Head of Venture Investing, SGInnovate.

DiMuto creates traceability for every single fruit as they move through the supply chain – from farms, factories, cold chain to distribution channels and end consumers. Through its proprietary Digital Asset Creation devices (DACky), DiMuto tags each fruit and carton with QR labels and captures images of every carton. Data such as relevant trade documents is then associated with the product information and uploaded onto its blockchained trade platform, effectively reducing disputes over quality and creating trust amongst trade parties.

“We would like to thank SGInnovate for believing in our vision to redefine trust in the global trade landscape. With data captured using our solutions, stakeholders in the agri-food supply chain are now able to solve key challenges such as food traceability, trade disputes, as well as trade financing,” said Gary Loh, Founder and Chairman of DiMuto.

To date, DiMuto has tagged over 30 million fruits and tracked and traced over US$100million worth of agrifood trades. With presence in 7 countries including US, China, Indonesia, Australia and Mexico, the new funding and strategic support from SGInnovate will allow DiMuto to further capitalize on its global growth momentum, and help drive further international expansion into new markets such as Europe and Latin America in the next few months.



About SGInnovate 

At SGInnovate, we build and scale Deep Tech startups into high potential companies with global impact. We believe that hard global problems can be solved using Deep Tech, and Singapore, where we are based, is uniquely positioned to realise Deep Tech innovations that can tackle these challenges. Our Deep Tech Nexus Strategy is focused on adding tangible value to the Deep Tech startup ecosystem in two key areas – development of Human Capital and deployment of Investment Capital. With the support of our partners and co-investors, we back entrepreneurial scientists through equity-based investments, access to talent and business-building advice. Our efforts are prioritised around emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Autonomous Tech, MedTech and Quantum Tech, which represent impactful and scalable answers to global challenges. SGInnovate is a private-limited company wholly owned by the Singapore Government. For more information, please visit


About DiMuto

DiMuto is in the business of creating trust. We provide global supply chains with a trade technology platform built on 4Ts: Tracking, Tracing, Transparency and Trust – thus demystifying global trade and enabling collaborative commerce.

The DiMuto Track & Trace blockchain platform creates end-to-end trade visibility and forms building blocks for further value creation in trade financing, product marketing and data analytics. Since 2018, DiMuto has successfully tracked and traced over millions of pieces in produce and millions in dollars of trade value on our platform. We work with a global portfolio of clients in over seven countries and five continents.

DiMuto is founded by executive chairman Mr Gary Loh, who is also the Executive Chairman of First Alverstone Group. For more information, please visit


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