SunMoon Food Company (“SunMoon”), a global distributor and marketer of high-quality fruits and vegetables, has successfully implemented the digitalisation of its premium Fuji Apples via blockchain. The implementation process was activated at the Fuji apple packing house of its partner, Xin Yue Yuan (XYY) Group in Shandong, eastern China.
After Chinese Fuji apples, SunMoon will next blockchain its frozen durians in Thailand and plans to do so for its avocados and citrus in
Since mid-October, SunMoon has trained XYY’s packing house employees to carry out the tagging process, equipping the facility to scan batch-specific and carton-specific QR codes and capture photographic verification of the apples’ quality.
Besides blockchaining individual apples, the carton boxes they are packed in are also blockchained using unique QR codes. This allows SunMoon to capture real-time packing status updates of order fulfilments giving an accurate overview of the number of cartons of apples packed, and the batch origin of apples in respective cartons, as well as quality of the apples when packed.
This information is then stored on DiMuto’s blockchain platform, and ensures that all trade parties, such as SunMoon, suppliers and customers, have real-time visibility of the apples.
SunMoon will roll out product traceability and tracking for its Thai frozen durians by end-October, and the company is also in talks with its partners for avocados and citrus in the United States to adopt the
New financing opportunities
Through the blockchain platform, SunMoon is able to digitise its fruits and open up new trade financing opportunities. The move from analogue to digital via blockchain provides assurance and verified information to potential financiers, shortening the typical supply chain financing time cycle from as long as 60 to 90 days to just around 24 hours.
The QR code on SunMoon fruits acts as a physical and digital stamp of quality assurance – the fruit in hand has been tracked and traced from packing houses to retail channels. This product traceability allows consumers who buy the SunMoon Fuji apples to access the verified certificates on the DiMuto blockchain, such as Good Agricultural Practices (GMP) and product origins. Such data, previously not readily available to consumers, can now be accessed through a simple scan of the tagged QR code. Information in the certificates is immutable and are shared amongst relevant parties along the food supply chain.
“The greater transparency across the value chain will significantly reduce many of the inter- and intracommunication costs, and minimize potential disputes between supply chain partners with regard to corroboration of information,” noted Roger Chua, managing director of SunMoon.
SunMoon's key motivation to apply the blockchain technology in the fruit industry is the ability to trace processes back to the relevant operators in the supply chain, Mr Chua added.
“Apart from the function of traceability, packers and receivers are delighted that they can check the condition of the apples and the number of cartons being packed at near real-time on their mobile phones.”
With blockchain technology, customer feedback also becomes easier. Customers have access to a feedback button about the fruits. They will also be prompted to take photos of the product, as well as provide purchase location details. This helps brand owners, and potentially retailers and buyers, to ensure quality of produce at retail and intermediary channels.
The direct customer access will also enable SunMoon to develop promotional campaigns and loyalty programmes to incentivise consumers to provide feedback, and these can be co-marketed with retail channels.
SunMoon’s blockchain technology
SunMoon uses DiMuto’s blockchain platform, developed in collaboration with Singapore-based Ascent Technologies, 1 Citadel and Ceito. DiMuto is wholly owned by First Alverstone Capital Ltd (FACL). FACL is a Singapore-based private equity firm helmed by SunMoon CEO Gary Loh and his wife, Selena Cheng, the Managing Director of FACL.
Being on the DiMuto system, SunMoon is strengthening its ability at the B2B level to buy and sell any fruit from and to anyone, anywhere, with no trust issues. This technology integrates seamlessly with its existing OneWorld Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Oracle NetSuite’s Suite Commerce Advanced (SCA) systems.
Blockchain, a distributed digital ledger technology to allow for transparent sharing of data and record of transactions among multiple parties, can apply to transaction, data capture, contract management, and more along the chain. The quality of goods can be captured and monitored along every step of the supply chain. In short, blockchain technology enables trust, adds value to the supply chain, improves operating efficiencies and lowering costs.