Category Archives: AgriFood

Are Smallholder Farmers Key to Agriculture Sustainability?

The need for investments in sustainable food systems is highly critical. With the world’s population estimated to rise to 9.8 billion by 2050, there will be greater stress on our current food systems. Additionally, the impacts of climate change bring additional threats to agriculture. A warming climate could cut crop yields by more than 25 percent, while the extreme weather events associated with climate change can have devastating effects on farmers, their land, and crop.

Who are the smallholder farmers?

Smallholder farmers are individuals who grow commercial crops or livestock on less than 2 hectares of arable land. Smallholder farmers can also have numerous landholdings in different nations, but their overall landholdings must be under 2 hectares.

The role of smallholder farmers in sustainable food system

Smallholder farmers can be at the vanguard of global efforts to protect and regenerate nature with the correct support. Empowering smallholders to employ sustainable and regenerative farming practices would allow them to replenish the land for current and future generations while increasing yields and creating agriculture resilience, generating prosperity for farmers and their families and positive effects on the environment.

In Brazil, for instance, a report by the Stockholm Environment Institute found that ‘between 2004 and 2011, landowners with more than 500 hectares (1,235 acres) of property were responsible for about 48% of the deforestation. Areas owned by smallholders accounted for 12% of the forests destroyed during the same period. However, since 2005, the contribution to annual deforestation by the largest landowners has fallen by 63%, while that of smallholders has increased by 69%.’ Smallholder farms are crucial in determining whether a sustainable food system can be achieved

Challenges Faced by Smallholder Farmers for Profitability

Few smallholder farmers have access to formal training, sophisticated farm supplies and equipment, and financial capabilities to increase soil health and production. Many smallholders also lack official paperwork proving ownership of their property, limiting their options for growing what, when, and how. As such, long-term, sustainable farming practices are rarely prioritized.

Smallholders are also hampered by systemic concerns such as gender inequity, health issues, and lack of sanitation. As a result, there are significant obstacles and potential in assisting smallholder farmers in adopting regenerative agricultural principles.

Furthermore, many of these variables have limited the contribution of smallholder farmers to urban consumers. As a result, it is evident that a sustainable food system must be supported by policies that allow smallholder farmers to realize their full potential while managing with externalities and limits.

If smallholder farmers are to play an essential part in a sustainable food system as sustainable food producers and food security providers, they will need to be equipped with training, equipment and financing that rewards them for sustainable farming practices. The challenge would then be to ensure that monitor and ensure help is provided to truly sustainable farmers.

How can Smallholder Farmers Benefit from Data Visibility? 

According to Emergen Research, the worldwide food traceability market size reached $4.54 billion in 2020 and is predicted to reach $9.75 billion by 2028. 

Rising demand for food traceability systems to identify mandatory paperwork and tracking for each stage of food processing is predicted to drive this revenue increase. Increased need for critical technologies in the agri-food sector is a very useful tool for analysing, monitoring, and regulating product flow. By digitalizing farm data and visibility, smallholder farmers can organize and improve their farm for higher profit margins and sustainable growth.  

Additionally, as the demand for food traceability technology has been on the rise for both eco-conscious end-consumers and food businesses alike, visibility on the smallholder farmers actions on their farm fields would be key to be able to track provenance of food products.  

How DiMuto  Helps Smallholder Farmer with Sustainability and Visibility 

L to R: Farm profile, Farm Lot Input Information, Farm Wallet

The DiMuto Farm Management application connects growing, harvesting, selling and payments for better visibility of farm operations with its three functions – Grow, Sell and Services. Using the DiMuto Farm Management Application, smallholder farmers can easily set up their digital identity on the Farm Management mobile application and connect their operations to their buyers such as procurement teams and agronomists from larger traders and packhouses within minutes. Through an intuitive interface, farmers can simplify farm administration, storing and accessing digitalized farm records, transport, and sales information easily. Additionally, they can also obtain yield estimates, track production, and get timely reminders to manage their field.   

With DiMuto Farm Management app, smallholder farmers can now: 

  • Simplify farm administration and easily track all farm-related records all in one place, and access it at anytime, anyplace 
  • Connect growing, harvesting, selling and payments for better visibility of their farm operations 
  • Get better prices, market position and premium buyers with produce that’s traceable straight from the farm 
  • Gain better visibility of planning and yield estimates, track production and identify trends and potential problems

Such farm data is then automatically populated to an aggregated web dashboard for agronomists and procurement team to track the farm and estimated harvests, giving more accuracy to supply planning. The Farm Management also seamlessly connects to Production Management and Trade Management features of the DiMuto Platform, allowing AgriFood companies to track the source of their AgriFood products and raw materials, down to the farm and lot that they originated from. As an added layer of verification, all supply chain data recorded on DiMuto Platform is also uploaded on the blockchain, ensuring immutability and trust.  

With increasing demands from consumers and governments for sustainable sourcing, this down reaching level of supply chain visibility will help AgriFood companies track and verify key sustainability metrics.  For instance, e, AgriFood procurement teams are now able to track measures such as the farmer that grew the food, the number of approved fertilizers, and water being used for the products that they purchased – enabling them to work more closely with farmers on the ground to ensure sustainability practices. This is particularly important for companies to achieve supply chain sustainability, given that a McKinsey report has shown that 80 of large multi-national companies (MNCs)’ impact on air, land, water, biodiversity and geological resources comes not from internal operations but from its supply chain, and most MNCs are struggling to accurately and efficiently assess supplier activities.  

Research estimates that 70% of smallholder farmers in global Agri supply chains live below the global  poverty line of $3.20 a day, amounting to over 122 million people. This is despite the fact that smallholder farmers producing a third of the world’s food.  

The DiMuto Farm Management application also has a Digital Wallet function that helps farmers to track, receive and access digital payments. The payment rails will help DiMuto to execute smallholder farmer financing and insurance opportunities, allowing loans and payments to be directly deployed and rightfully received. The Digital Wallet is also connected to the Trade Management and the Grow aspect of the app, creating the ability to verify purpose and usage of the loans and ensuring that funds can be used for improved resiliency and sustainability of these smallholder famers. 

If you are interested to learn more about how DiMuto helps improve sustainability of food systems for global AgriFood trade, reach us at sales@dimuto.io

Bolster Trustworthiness of Digital Documents in AgriFood Trade

With  growing demand for transparency and traceability of global food supply chains – the Food Traceability market is estimated to be worth as much as US$9.28billion by 2028, it is no wonder that there has been much data-driven innovation in the AgriFood sector. There has also been increasing recognition of the need for a digitalized food system, particularly in the wake of Covid.  

However, critical digital and physical documentation required to conduct AgriFood trade continues to be disseminated, recorded and stored in an inefficient, disconnected and unsecure manner across the various stakeholders in the AgriFood supply chain.    

Importance of Trusted Supply Chain Trade Documents in AgriFood Trade

Agriculture and food commerce are more complicated than manufacturing trade because trade standards are more stringent, documentation is more cumbersome, and logistics are more complicated – these are often necessary to ensure consumer food safety. For food safety, detailed information on traded items as well as the movement of goods in a supply chain is vital and these challenges have been exacerbated by the rise in e-commerce. 

Thus, the need for trusted digital documents showing the food safety status and traceability data of food products is needed more than ever. For instance, in lieu of the pandemic, China has implemented strict policies on food imports and even banned imported fruits and salmon from specific ports.  For AgriFood companies dealing with food import-exports, being able to efficiently and effectively store digital documents and trade information and ensure its validity and authenticity in crucial to ensure trust in the provenance of their food products.   

How Can AgriFood Businesses Be Assured of the Security of Their Uploaded Documents? 

Data breaches, document forgeries, and fraudulence have become a pressing issue for digital documents on the web or businesses’ private platforms. It is crucial to note that although there are several methods for digitizing documents and storing digital documents, the security and efficiency of such methods may not be as seamless and transparent as one might think.  

Current communications occur over different communications platforms such as social messaging apps and emails, causing crucial trade information and documents to be scattered and stored inefficiently, making it challenging for AgriFood companies to ensure timely verification of these documents, or store and retrieve them securely.  

How DiMuto Helps – DiMuto Creates Trade Visibility for “The Messy Middle”


With DiMuto, Retailers and Suppliers can now enjoy greater visibility of all their trade data. Product, document and payment data are all tracked on a single platform. Suppliers, Traders and Retailers are able to easily access all relevant trade documents which are automatically uploaded onto the blockchain, ensuring immutable records of the trade action and documents. 

In addition to utilizing the blockchain to build trust, DiMuto utilizes Dedoco, a decentralized digital signing platform on blockchain, to further authenticate trade documents. 

How DiMuto Authenticates Trade Documents on the Platform with Dedoco 

AgriFood Trade documents on DiMuto are further authenticated with Dedoco’s blockchain-enabled electronic signature platform to increase the credibility of digital documents. Documents are readily signed using Dedoco and registered with a unique blockchain hash when they are published to the DiMuto platform. Documents’ signatures can also be verified  Dedoco web. 


Digital Documents will require signatures that are then embedded with a blockchain hash

With blockchain-verified signatures that act as a guarantee of document authencity, DiMuto ensures credibility of every trade transaction – removing barriers such as security risks, fraudulence, and forgery of documents. DiMuto’s All-in-One trade management platform helps strengthen trust and confidence among AgriFood players in the food supply chain. 

If you are interested to learn more about how DiMuto ensures trust for global AgriFood trade transactions, talk to our sales team today at sales@dimuto.io and find out how DiMuto can support your journey to better trade visibility. www.dimuto.io 

 

 

Challenges of Cross-Border Payments in Global AgriFood Trade

Cross-border Transactions Today

In 2020, the market growth for international payments reached an all-time high with forecasted revenues of $2Trillion USD, according to a recent forecast by Smarter Payments Tracker. However, research has shown that only 1% of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) use digital finance successfully, even though SMEs represent and more than 50% of employment worldwide.

Add that to the complex regulations and infrastructure of cross-border payment systems today, it is no wonder that moving money across borders is still far from an efficient and easy process.  This problem will only become more pertinent as the role of SMEs in the global economy continues to grow. Challenges faced when conducting cross-border payments include:

  • Country-specific regulations
  • Slow processing of transactions
  • Expensive costs
  • Security concerns
  • Lack of visibility

Country-specific rules have impeded international payments, and transactions routed through intermediate institutions can take days to complete and typically come with costs. Due to the numerous intermediaries involved in transferring money from one nation to another, all of which collect fees for their services, cross-border payments are notoriously expensive. Regulatory costs pile up, and FX fees for converting one currency to another will be levied. Compounding this is the lack of clarity when it comes to remittance fee structures.

Additionally, unlike near-instantaneous domestic payments, traditional cross-border bank transfers typically involve numerous exchanges of hands in one transaction and take two to five days to process, making it difficult to expect payments on time.

On top of that, high-level security breaches in cross-border payment systems are common, as evidenced by the $81 Million theft on Bangladesh’s central bank in 2016.  As each country has its own set of rules, the cross-border payment system is vulnerable to hacking whenever funds enter a country with lax security and access policies.

As each country has its own set of rules, the cross-border payment system is vulnerable to hacking whenever funds enter a country with lax security and access policies.

Another core concern of businesses making cross-border payments is the lack of visibility of payment status. according to a poll conducted by SWIFT and EuroFinance in 2017, 64 percent of businesses desire real-time payment tracking capabilities, while 47 percent want improved insight into the costs and deductions involved.

With the longstanding lack of real-time tracking of payment status, businesses often do not have certainty of transaction status. When companies need to know the current status of a payment, they are dependent on operations specialists undertaking manual research to ascertain basic information. Payment inquiries must be directed through correspondent banks, then communicated back to clients to determine any necessary actions. This lack of transparency creates a high informational cost, undermines corporate cash flow forecasts, and can strain relationships with a client’s suppliers and busines partners when funds are not received as expected.

For AgriFood companies with a significant portion of business in export-import trade, the ability to conduct and manage payment transactions across borders in an efficient, secure and visible manner is a concern. The risks of cross-border payments today are especially great for AgriFood companies dealing with a high volume of international trade transactions where one container of fresh produce can easily amount to an average cost of USD$50,000 to 150,000.

A need for trade-centric payment management in global AgriFood Trade 

In global AgriFood Trade, there’s not only a need for cross-border payment methods to have less friction but have a trade-centric perspective as well. This is because product movement is dependent on a multitude of factors and delays and changes in timelines are commonplace. Trade disputes involving quality issues are typical and can cause upwards of 5-15% of trade value.

Trade Dispute Due to Poor Product Quality of Oranges, read more.

Thus, it is particularly important for finance teams to be informed of situations affecting expected payments and cash flow.

DiMuto Unifies Products, Documents and Payments in One

DiMuto connects products, documents and payments on a single platform, giving visibility across departments and functions in a company. We digitalize physical AgriFood products by tagging each fruit or vegetable with a Digital Identity Label (DID).

DiMuto’s DIDs Tagged onto Cartons of Bananas to Provide Visibility Across All Departments, read more.

DIDs act as a digital identifier for each fruit and contain product quality and traceability data and allow companies to connect the product to digital documents and payments on DiMuto Platform.

DiMuto Payment Management

DiMuto allows payment receipts to be uploaded onto the blockchain automatically, ensuring immutability. Payment status is also viewed in the same trade timeline as other trade actions, ensuring that both sales and finance understand the trade situation. The DiMuto Payment Management feature also allows companies to conduct cross-border transactions via the DiMuto Platform.  

DiMuto Payment Powered by OPAL

A partner that we work with to make this possible is OPAL Payments, a Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)-licensed Major Payment Institution (MPI), which provide businesses with a less expensive and more convenient method of international payment and cross-border banking through Global Digital Business Accounts.

Through this partnership, companies on the DiMuto Platform will be able to receive payments rapidly in important markets such as the United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union, and more, as well as access local payment networks in 21 countries without the need to set up business operations in these territories. OPAL understands that SMEs encounter challenges when it comes to transacting business on a global basis. 

Beyond connecting payments in traditional currencies, the DiMuto Payment Management can allow transactions in the USD Coin (USDC), through CIRCLE, a uniform platform for businesses to collect payments and send payouts around the world using blockchain technology. Meeting the needs of high-volume trading firms, crypto exchanges, and market makers, the USD Coin (USDC) is a significant advancement in the way businesses utilize money. Digital dollars function similarly to other digital content: they travel at the speed of the internet, can be traded in the same manner that we share content, and are less expensive and more secure than current payment systems.

A Bright Future: Paving the way to trade financing access 

By digitalizing physical AgriFood assets, asset tracking is now possible – the identity, movement and condition of individual products and cartons can now be easily tracked and traced with DiMuto. Coupled with Artificial Intelligence Models  that can objectively assess product quality and trade health, DiMuto helps lower the risk associated with trade financing for agri-perishables, giving AgriFood SMEs opportunities to obtain much needed trade financing options.

The US$1.9 trillion global trade finance gap has deteriorated as a result of Covid-19, which is now projected to be as high as US$3.4 trillion by experts, with SMEs in emerging nations being the hardest hurt. Due to concerns such as creditworthiness, collateral requirements, short-term liquidity, and political or currency risk, SMEs have historically had difficulty obtaining institutional funding.

More efficient and trade-centric cross-border payment methods will not only create more visibility and help business manage their operations and cash flow better but also help to provide them with trade financing opportunities to help their businesses grow greater.  

If you are interested to learn more about how DiMuto helps Agri-Food businesses with cross-border payment management, please reach us here or drop us an email at sales@dimuto.io. 

State of Food Traceability in 2022

Entering into the New Era of Smarter Food Safety in 2022 – Food Traceability is an emerging need in today’s world with open global markets and is a step towards making end-consumers become more aware of the food they consume and setting up sustainable and ethical food supply chains.

Food Traceability means being able to know the origin and traces of food products along the stages of the food supply chain – production, processing, manufacturing, distribution and consumption, ensuring visibility and transparency throughout the different stages of the supply chain.

Securing visibility and transparency within the whole food supply chain, traceability for movements of fresh produce will require robust technical solutions such as blockchain technology which enhances the ability to quickly pinpoint potential sources of contamination to efficiently prevent, contain or rectify outbreaks.

Food Traceability Will Lower Implementation Costs And Become a Norm
In The AgriFood Industry

Blockchained Durians

Transparency in terms of blockchain food traceability can validate and authenticate the provenance of food and improve the brand’s credibility. Therefore 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.

Food Traceability Technology will see lower implementation costs and become a norm in the AgriFood industry.
 
Read more on how how Blockchain Simplifies AgriFood Product Quality for a more efficient, sustainable and transparent food supply chain.
 

There Will Be A Strong Growth In Food Traceability Industry On A Global Scale

Between 2000 and 2016, world agricultural trade increased more than threefold in value, rising to USD 1.6 trillion in 2016. Market revenue growth is expected to be driven by rising demand for food traceability systems to identify necessary documentation and tracking for each stage of food processing. Increase in demand for important tools in the agri-food sector represents a very useful tool for analysing, monitoring and managing the flow of products.

Food Safety Concerns And Growing Eco-Consciousness Will Continue Influence Consumer Purchase Decisions

Food safety concerns have become critical in many countries, especially those with lack of standards, regulations, and stringent stipulations governing quality and safety of food and edible products.

Post COVID-19 pandemic, a sizable number of consumers developed some level of fear related to what they eat and who has been in contact with what they consume. This has been playing a major role in a number of companies deploying additional safety measures in order to support brand value, increase consumer trust, and drive revenues. This in turn has been adding a significant boost to demand across certain supply chains that have deployed the right measures and have built trust and enabled better traceability of food products.

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. 

How DiMuto Helps 

DiMuto Trade Management Solutions provide an all-in-one platform to help AgriFood companies track physical AgriFood products for each trade, down to each carton and product. Using our unique Digital Identities Labels (DIDs), companies can digitalize physical products and combine it with the relevant supply chain data on our blockchain-powered platform. Such traceability information can be shared efficiently within departments of the same organization, as well as with external stakeholders such as buyers, retailers and end consumers.  This can be done by scanning each carton to access a web-based Product Passport, for consumers, or achieved through our “Quick Info” function for trade partners. By making the sharing of verified traceability data, AgriFood companies can now better manage food safety requirements in cross-border supply chains.

If you are interested to learn more about DiMuto’s Trade Management Solutions can help you achieve Food Traceability, talk to our sales team today at sales@dimuto.io.

How AgriFood Supply Chains Can Be More Resilient and Tackle Challenges Posed by COVID-19 and the Future

Pandemics are characterized by their severe negative consequences on the global economy. COVID-19 has had a significant influence on one of the most vital areas of the economy – the whole food supply chain, from the source to the consumer. The disruption to supply networks continues to be severe, with the virus continuing to cause numerous areas and economies impose lockdowns and restrictions, while others struggle to adapt to a post-pandemic landscape. The supply chain will be crucial in providing products and services promptly, reliably, and securely as economies begin to recover.

COVID-19 is causing the ‘Messy Middle’ in operations to be more challenging throughout the world in ways that are difficult to predict and measure. Agri-Food businesses are concerned that they will not be able to meet contractual commitments on time due to the new challenges posed by the pandemic and the lack of visibility; from Supplier to Retailer to End-Consumer. There remain substantial concerns regarding food production, processing, distribution, and demand in lieu of pandemic-related supply chain changes such as limitations to workers’ mobility, changes in consumer demand, the closure of food production facilities, new food trade laws, and financial constraints in the food supply chain.

In addition to the new obstacles posed by the pandemic, COVID-19 revealed previously unknown weaknesses in several sectors – Lead Times, Lack of Diversification and Visibility, and many organizations have experienced heavy losses because of it, exacerbating and hastening issues of the ‘Messy Middle’ that previously existed in the supply chain.

How The Pandemic Impacts the Global AgriFood Supply Chain

From farm to fork, there are five phases of the food supply chain (FSC). Two mechanisms are used in the food supply chain for food consistency and protection. The first focuses on rules and legislation that use mandatory requirements reviewed by government agencies. The second focuses on voluntary principles established by economic law or international organizations. FSC contains important final stages that can easily affect end-consumers. This includes safe food handling, preparation, delivery, the use of personal protective equipment such as helmets and gloves, surface disinfection, and work. Maintaining environmental and even social distance are some safety measures implemented to ensure the continuity of food flow.

The Covid-19 pandemic, unlike foot-and-mouth disease, avian influenza, and Listeria, does not directly infect animals or produce and therefore has no impact on development of diseases via produce. However, because of the pandemic, nations have severely restricted the flow of goods (land, sea and air transport) and the movement of labour around the world to manage and control the rate of transmission of Covid-19 between people.

Reportedly, Australia’s isolation rules have also created shortages of workers to harvest, pack, transport and distribute the fruit and vegetables which leads to strained distribution of food supplies. These conditions are aggravated with Uganda’s authorities demanding fresh testing of Covid-19 by the Kenyan truck drivers upon their arrival at the border with claims that their Covid-19 certificates are falsified, enabling the Truck Drivers to go on a strike due to the stated conditions. These situations greatly delayed the supply of fresh produce.

Chile Scrambles to Regain China’s Confidence on Cherry Imports

Chile’s association of fruit exporters Asoex stated that wholesale purchases of Chilean cherries have decreased to 4% below normal levels in 2021 and retail sales flopped heavily by 63% in China.

The cause of reduction for cherry imports in China is due to reports that have been made stating that some imported cherries tested positive for traces of the coronavirus in Jiangsu Province, which swiftly spread across the Chinese media making the consumers doubt and lose confidence in purchasing them. This incident impacted the cherry sales negatively as cherry sales suffer a devastating blow due to the fear of being contracted with the Covid-19 virus.

COVID-Driven High Freight Rates Makes Receiving Poor Quality Fresh Produce More Costly

According to the Xeneta Shipping Index, there has been an increase in freight rates, with global container prices rising by 3.2% in September 2021, which marks an astounding surge of 91.5% as compared to the previous year. As the costs are high in shipping fresh produce, receiving poor quality fresh produce would further incur loss in sales where a container of Fresh Produce can value between US$50,000 to US$150,000 and wasted costs that are not easily recovered where rises in freight costs are at an all-time high making goods rejection even more costly.

How DiMuto Helps AgriFood Companies Stay Resilient

DiMuto understands the many difficulties in conducting cross-border international agrifood trade, and the various risks involved, due to the disconnected flow of information across global supply chains where buyers and suppliers are often located in very distant geographical areas.

With DiMuto and our trusted network of buyers in the region, you can trade Agri-Food products and fresh produce products with seamless visibility and accessibility. DiMuto’s Global Trade Network is made up of an exclusive network of trusted buyers and suppliers conducting traceable trade on the DiMuto Platform. With full supply chain visibility, growers and retailers can buy & sell fresh produce more effectively and efficiently. 

For Buyers:

When 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

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 How Retailers Can Better Manage the Impact of the ‘Messy Riddle’

For Suppliers:

By joining DiMuto’s Global Trade Network, you will deal with traceable, trackable fresh produce that has been digitized TradeTrust Blockchain Validation, creating data-backed trust and peace of mind when you conduct global produce trade adapting to the pandemic that has disrupted trade.

Read more on How DiMuto Uses TradeTrust Blockchain Validation to Strengthen Trust in Global Trade

Pukuna Farms Using DiMuto’s Traceability for Visiblity and Accessing New Markets

Based on a challenge faced by one of our customers – Pukuna Farms, they were finding a way to expand their market to such an unknown region like Asia, hailing all the way from Ecuador. It is not easy to enter an unknown market and for that, the supplier has to be reliable, where consistent quality is key. Buyers need to be assured that suppliers will sell their fresh produce in good condition and they will be receiving the products as per specified and upon the arrival of the fresh produce and buyers will be required to scan the fruits for visibility on the quality of fruits. For that, it is important to have full visibility in the supply chain.

With DiMuto’s traceability solutions, traceability and digitalization secured with Blockchain-Powered solution, Pukuna Farms was able to improve in sales as each Pitahaya is digitalized with DiMuto QR code so it can be tracked and traced on one single platform to provide full visibility as it moves through the supply chain, making it easier to manage trade dispute based on the information recorded timely on the DiMuto platform.

Product quality, farm information and trade information are captured on the DiMuto platform. Thus, the visibility provided by DiMuto to supply chain partners enables trade traceability and transparency, improving trust and establishing long lasting partnerships between supply chain partners.

Read more on how Pukuna Farms Uses DiMuto’s Traceability. 

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 

Fundamental shifts in consumer behaviour, supply networks, and routes to market have made Agri-Food companies face challenges in adapting and resolving them. As a result of the pandemic, companies must expedite the implementation of efficient solutions to navigate the unpredictability.

If you are interested to learn more about how DiMuto helps Agri-Food businesses leverage on an increased visibility to stay resilient amidst the challenges of the pandemic in the supply chain, please reach us here or drop us an email at sales@dimuto.io.

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.

 

 

 

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.

How Fresh Produce Brands Can Leverage Southeast Asia’s Hunger for Traceable Produce

During the first ever digital edition of the Asia Fruit Logistica (AFL) last week, the fresh produce industry took a look at the future of Asia and Southeast Asia for the fresh produce industry.

Recovery of Asian markets

Like we predicted in our previous article, Asia’s fresh produce trade is set to bounce back and recover from the global pandemic according to the panel of experts in Asia Fruit Congress 2020. As the Fruitnet report on the event states, even a tourism-based economy like Thailand is beginning to see signs of recovery, and consumers in Asia are already veering towards e-commerce well before the coronavirus.

Demand for traceable produce

More and more consumers in Asia are expecting traceability when it comes to fresh produce, according to key findings in a Southeast Asian market report from The Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade) shared during AFL. Consumers in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand are looking for traceable, high quality and premium fresh produce.

Excerpt from AusTrade sharing session during AFL2020

Opportunities for fresh produce suppliers

For produce grower-exporters looking to enter the different Asian markets, this presents a great opportunity to leverage traceability as a way to differentiate your brand of fresh produce from others in the market.

In order for traceability to make sense to producers, the value it can bring to the table has to be outweigh the cost of implementing new technologies and adapting existing work flows. Thus, “will consumers pay a premium for traceability?” is a big but necessary question that producers ask when it comes to the topic of traceability. According to a scientific study published by the Europe PMC, about 70% of consumers in China are willing to pay a premium for traceable fresh pork, and quality certification mattered most. A report by the Label Insight and Food Marketing Institute found that 75% of consumers are more likely to switch to a brand that provides more in-depth product information beyond what is provided on the physical label. 73% of consumers are also willing to pay more for such information transparency, and 56% of them trust brands that provide these information more.

By engaging end consumers at the retail level and showing them that your produce has been tracked and trace from farm to fork, producers are able to build trust with end consumers and strengthen their brand with an ability to command higher price premiums and more loyal customers.

Getting Started – First Trace, then Communicate

How to get started? Firstly, producers will need to deploy traceability systems to make sure that they can see all the important supply chain information in one place.

This means that the information on the fruit level has to be tracked and recorded throughout the supply chain, beginning from the packhouse or farm and continue as it travels towards the consumer. Information here includes fruit quality, product certificates stating origin, good manufacturing practices and more.

It is also important to ensure the integrity of the information, so that producers can communicate information that is verified – which is why many grower-exporters have been looking at blockchain for its ability to preserve and record information in a shared, immutable manner.

QR codes on fruit labels that give the ability to communicate to consumers directly

Then, there is the issue of communicating such provenance information to consumers. How can producers directly engage end consumers around the world? The answer lies, simply, in QR labels. When producers label every single fruit with a QR code, consumers can then scan the code with their mobile phones to retrieve and access such information.

DiMuto SMART Marketing Tool – Traceability with a Story

DiMuto helps produce suppliers to digitize, organize and capitalize their product and trade data. With our trade solutions, producers can track and trace their products, down to every single carton and every single product on one single platform. This product level of granularity is then combined with the relevant trade information such as shipping information and buyer receipt information on the blockchain.

As part of our trade services helping suppliers to capitalize on their traceability data, the DiMuto Sales & Marketing Retention & Awareness Tool (SMART) Marketing solution then helps brand owners and suppliers to communicate this traceability information to end consumers.

Our product page allows you to conduct cost effective marketing campaigns to engage end consumers – consumers will be able to see verified product origins, obtain information about the farm and growing practices, as well as learn new recipes and participate in exciting lucky draw promotions conducted directly by growers and brands. Consumers are also able to leave feedback on the produce quality, giving suppliers important information about the product quality and consumer experience, something that producers were previously unable to learn about due to supply chain complexity.

Consumers are able to access verified traceability story of their produce with DiMuto

We have helped suppliers like Newton Orchards, Morning Glory Farms and Pukuna Farms to engage end consumers with our solutions. Click on the links to read their customer success story.

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

How DiMuto Traceability Labels Could Have Helped Food Safety Recalls – The Case of Salmonella in US Peaches

The Singapore Food Agency ordered a recall of US peaches that were potentially linked to the ongoing Salmonella outbreak in the States and told consumers to look out for specific PLU codes. However, “not all peaches with these price look-up codes are supplied by Prima Wawona” – this could cause confusion for end consumers.

Singaporean Consumers were told to look out for the code numbers on the peaches to know if they were unsafe 

The Problem with PLU Codes

Prima Wawona packaged peaches [Source: FDA]

For consumers, it is easier to identify exactly which brand or producer the affected produce came from, as in the picture of packaged Prima Wawona peaches shows. It is much more complex when it comes to loose packed fruit that has already been distributed out in the market.

According to the Produce Marketing Association (PMA), PLU codes, otherwise known as Price Look-Up codes, are codes that are labelled onto individual produce based upon the commodity, variety and size group. They are primarily used by supermarkets to make check-out and inventory control easier, faster and more accurate.

Thus, this means that the PLU code does not indicate which supplier or grower the produce comes from, which can make it challenging to do accurate, timely food safety recalls for loose packed fruit. This can also result in unnecessary food wastage due to the wholesale dumping of food simply because it is not possible to properly isolate the affected unsafe food.

In addition, these codes are also typically meaningless to the everyday consumers in groceries stores, which makes it difficult for them to remember what exactly which PLU codes mean on the spot, especially when the list of codes is extensive – they would likely have to search it up.

DiMuto Traceability Labels

With DiMuto traceability labels, a QR code is effectively applied onto each fruit. In the event of food safety recalls, end consumers can easily scan the QR code and be notified immediately if their fruit is safe to consume. This QR code brings consumers to a product page where the supply chain information communicated to them is verified and uploaded on the blockchain, on our DiMuto platform.

 

With DiMuto solutions, we are able to track down to every carton and every fruit by tagging each fruit and carton with unique digital identities or QR codes.

By tracing the fruit or produce from the supply chain upstream all the way to end consumers, we can then tackle food safety challenges in an accurate, timely and verified manner.

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 sales@dimuto.io.  

How can The Messy Middle of AgriFood Trade Recover in Coronavirus Crisis

Covid19 has hit the world hard, and many countries are still reeling from devastating impacts. One region that has the global consensus of being the leaders in covid19 response is Asia.

As we have seen throughout this year, China and the Asian region in general have demonstrated a greater recovery in economic terms from the current Pandemic. China has managed to keep its cases under control and has been beginning to open trade with new markets and reinforcing the existing ones with the same Asian countries. Throughout the pandemic, China has grown by 1.2 percent, although the number is relatively low, which China has been able to maintain at a positive number, has demonstrated its economic strength. For 2021, the IMF predicts China’s economy will grow by 9.2 percent, leading all major economies.

 

The future is in Asia

In the current coronavirus climate, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has predicted that only emerging Asia will see growth in 2020 and Asian Development Bank has stated that growth in Asia will rebound next year.

Over the past 10 years, GDP in emerging Asian economies have expanded 160%  while global growth measured about 30% according to IMF. With a strong foundation of economic growth in the last few decades, Asia is on track to top 50% of global GDP by 2040 and drive 40% of the world’s consumption, representing a real shift in the world’s center of gravity.

In China, the world’s largest economy, economic growth has exploded over the last 30 years. China’s economy has enjoyed 30 years of explosive growth, making it the world’s largest. At the moment, despite the pandemic, China´s economy have been recovering, and companies have also been shifting towards Southeast Asia as global supply chains continue to shift – a region that has US$5.3 trillion of global trade passing through each year. There is only a matter of time that Southeast Asia to become the fourth largest single market in the world by 2030 – putting it behind only the US, China and the European Union.

DiMuto Trade Network 

DiMuto understands the many difficulties in conducting cross-border international agrifood trade, and the various risks involved, due to the disconnected flow of information across global supply chains where buyers and suppliers are often located in very distant geographical areas.

With DiMuto and our trusted network of buyers in the region, you can trade agrifood products and fresh produce products with peace of mind. DiMuto Global Trade Network is made up of an exclusive network of trusted buyers and suppliers conducting traceable trade on the DiMuto Platform. With full supply chain visibility, growers and retailers are able to buy & sell fresh produce more effectively and efficiently. By joining our network, you deal with traceable, trackable fresh produce that has been digitized on the DiMuto blockchain-powered platform, creating data-backed trust and peace of mind when you conduct global produce trade.

Now more than ever, the coronavirus has disrupted trade, so the need for alternative suppliers & buyers is imminent. With our Global Trade Network you can find Suppliers/Buyers in different regions of Asia, so you can expand your supply chain network of trusted trade partners.

Tackling the Messy Middle Nightmare

Doing business with Suppliers / Buyers that are far apart can eventually end in a nightmare – creating what is called the “Messy Middle” where miscommunications, misinformation and trade disputes thrive due to the lack of data and information flows in the supply chain.

The Messy Middle of agri-food supply chains

Due to this Messy Middle, there is a lack of transparency, so 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.

It’s worth pointing out that Asian countries, especially China, have become increasingly important destination markets for Latin America’s agricultural exports. Therefore, agricultural products are exposed to larger transit times, composed of unreliable cold chains and a complicated mix of on-land, maritime and air logistics. It is impossible to successfully and safely arrive in Asia without Midstream Technologies providing packaging, shelf life support, traceability and know-how to support the product during its journey to the end-consumer. It’s very likely a consumer will receive a fruit that has travelled for 30 days but that doesn’t mean they won’t expect the same quality as one that was locally harvested.

With DiMuto 4T traceability solutions, you are now able to have visibility over the provenance of the food products moved from farm to table, all stored on the blockchain on a single platform.

When buyers receive the products, with the Dimuto Receiver App, the buyer has to scan the QR code of the carton boxes and take pictures of them as proof that the shipment has been received. This allows the buyer to provide feedback of the quality of the products or report defects if it is necessary. On the other hand, the supplier has the chance to prove they have sent their products in good conditions, being able to upload all the photos at the carton level into one single platform. So it is able to track quality issues down to individual cartons.

 

With our Digitalization solution 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, reducing trade disputes. Learn more about how DiMuto has helped a Peruvian supplier with their avocado trade disputes 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 sales@dimuto.io.