Four-year-old Auckland business Olivia is reportedly the first small to medium enterprise in Australasia to adopt blockchain in food traceability.
Olivia director Jerry Ho, who is also chair of the New Zealand Green Industry Association, says global depletion of food source and the rising concerns of food authenticity were a major reason by setting up a blockchain system for credibility and sustainability.
“We are helping feed an overpopulated planet and time is running out unless we start changing things for the better as we help to feed Asia and other parts of the world,” he says.
The Auckland operation’s main product is Mighty Moo milk powder for children from three years to 12 years old.
The Olivia Mighty Moo product is exporting more than $2 million worth of products made in Auckland, Waikato, Invercargill and on the Gold Coast.
Olivia manufactures milk powder, breakfast cereals, cookies, probiotics and pregnancy powder.
The products are made in New Zealand and Australia, with ingredients sourced from all around the world.
One of the major suppliers of their vitamin is DSM, a Dutch multinational prominent in health, nutrition and materials.
Headquartered in Heerlen, at the end of 2016, DSM employed 20,786 people in 50 countries and posted net sales of $7920 billion.
Their technology partner is UK-based firm Provenance, a blockchain provider that provides product transparency and traceability to enhance food security.
“The blockchain verifies our business and supplier profiles for greater supply chain integrity and substantiates our claims with data gathered from across the supply chain,” Ho says.
“The system demonstrates our social and environmental impact at every point in the chain and reduces risk by proving the authenticity of our goods.
“It’s like a digital passport for every product, linked to every individual item,” he adds.
“The economic implication of blockchain supply for NZ businesses is huge and it adds value to New Zealand's clean green, authentic environment,” he says.
A new organisation, FoodTechNZ, will be launched in July as part of the NZTech alliance with Ho as its first chairman.