China to bolster tea traceability using blockchain
China’s Yunnan estate is blessed with a bountiful supply of rich, dark, and fermented varieties of tea supply. The beautiful dense tea plantation is spread across a vast area of 5,336,000 square meters, and its export alone was estimated to be worth a whopping $33 billion in 2018.
Tea traceability as an issue
However, tea traceability remains a prominent issue for tea suppliers in the region, with a growing number of counterfeit products entering the supply chain. Besides, there are rising discrepancies observed relating to tea grading operations, leaf collection, blending, and packaging processes.
In light of several foodborne epidemics that have become rampant in today’s times, especially with supply chains going global with the addition of multiple stakeholders at every stage, there is increased consumer awareness. And given the apparent health benefits associated with drinking tea, suppliers must match the evolving needs.
Thus, in its efforts to enhance tea traceability of the yield worth $2.5 billion, Pu’er tea estate has turned to the blockchain. Although the association with blockchain dates back to 2019, the province rolled out a pilot program, referred to as the Quality blockchain traceability platform, in March this year, to incorporate tea tracking solutions.
Pu’er tea farms harness blockchain potential
To access the tea traceability program, customers simply have to scan the QR code from their smartphones, following which they will be prompted with all the required information about that product. They will be able to view the exact raw material used for tea manufacturing, the picking, harvesting, and processing data, along with the warehousing duration and condition.
According to the announcement, the Pu’er’s blockchain-powered tea traceability platform has been successfully tested and validated by 25 companies on 25 tea products. These trial attempts have tested the texture imaging software, authenticity verification technology, and the NFC encryption chip solutions.
Blockchain part of a bigger plan in China
Meanwhile, besides the tea traceability, China is pulling out all stops in adopting blockchain technology as a means to return to power as the global technology superpower. Leading tech firms like Tencent are boosting China’s new infrastructure plan with significant capital investments.
Moreover, Hainan, China’s free trade hub and a potential competitor to Asia’s financial hotspot, Hong Kong, is relying on blockchain for strengthening governance and standardizing data sharing and funding processes.