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New project in Ethiopia: Democratising Access to Technology in the Fruit and Vegetable Sector

Trusty was created with the aim of democratising access to technology not only within national or European borders but, above all, internationally. We have seen how traceability, blockchain and, more generally, digitalisation are a tool that can protect all the actors in the supply chain by enhancing production. We have talked about it in the cocoa and coffee supply chain, in the typical Made in Italy supply chains (such as wine, pasta, oil, etc.), today we are doing so in a sector where food safety and product freshness are fundamental elements.

In this project we are demonstrating how technology can be made available to everyone and that the efforts made have an important return in terms of quality, positioning and information value.

Meki Batu is the name of the farmers' union formed in the town of Meki, Ethiopia, which in 2002 represented only 12 producer groups. Twenty years of great commitment to the world of fruit and vegetables guided by the deep-rooted principles of quality and safety. A commitment that translates into a direct relationship with local and national growers and through the guarantee of product compliance with regulatory food safety standards.

Looking at the organisation today, one can hardly recognise it considering its impressive growth, which, letting the numbers speak for themselves, translates into the current 153 cooperatives and more than 8000 farmer members. Added to this are the more than 4000 hectares of land cultivated for the production of fruit, vegetables, cereals and pulses that have enabled Meki Batu to not only enter the domestic market but also to distribute its products beyond its borders, namely in the Middle East and Europe.

Why we are presenting this reality is strongly linked to an important project, won together with the LVIA association, of which we feel particularly proud. Last year, in fact, we took part in the Innovation for Development project dedicated to innovation realities active in the food and sustainable agriculture sector. Thanks to the support of Fondazione Cariplo, Fondazione Compagnia di San Paolo, Cariplo Factory, Tiresia, Politecnico di Milano, Jengalab and Effecinque, we won the project in the area of traceability and quality. Together with the LVIA association, which has been present in Ethiopia for several years, we chose to support the Meki Batu farmer cooperative and immerse ourselves in their reality.

The aim of the project is to allow Meki Batu to make a generational leap from responding to the increasingly stringent market demands through a voluntary system of transparency and traceability that, on the one hand, responds to the demands of certification schemes (Global Gap in primis), and, on the other, makes all stakeholders able to appreciate the information value of the products, thanks to the possibility of accessing a digital twin of the product (specific batch) by scanning a QR-Code.

Through this action, we enabled Union to implement a traceability flow that provides:

  • Data Collection: Carried out with applications, capable of offline operation, which were provided to the Union's operators in charge of collection and transport to the PackHouse (where the final processing takes place)
  • OTP FARMER: A system via SMS that allows the farmer to be authenticated so that the information declared is not confirmed by them. This protects farmers and operators against possible data disputes.
  • Monitoring Admin (Traceability Dashboard): The ability to view all traceability events and their tracks in blockchain. Through the dashboard, it is also possible to visualise the history of a product from the batch (track-and-trace) and to share traceability events with customers and suppliers (supply chain).
  • Label Printing: Possibility to print adhesive labels with the main product information and QR-Code to display the product information in a public way.
  • B2B Customer Feedback: Through the public page, customers can leave their feedback to accept products from Union and enable it to improve.

In light of the project's objectives, ensuring the accessibility of these technologies should not only be the preserve of multinationals or large corporations. Giving everyone, anywhere in the world, access to these technologies enables an improvement in transparency along the supply chain, protection guaranteed by the immutability of information, the ability to make it universally verifiable, and thus greater security in the sense of empowerment of all actors.

To implement 🖐 Trusty in your company. contact us here.

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