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Taiwan’s OwlTing Launches Ethereum-based Blockchain for Food Safety

Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:56 PM
Samburaj Das
Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:56 PM

Taiwanese e-commerce platform OwlTing has laid claim to integrating the ‘world’s first Ethereum-based food provenance’ blockchain into its supply chain.

Taipei-based OwlTing is the operator of an online platform and marketplace that connects consumers directly to producers of food in Taiwan. The e-commerce platform has now claimed to integrate an Ethereum-based blockchain technology solution to its supply chain infrastructure, as a means to improving food safety for consumers.

OwlTing claims the solution was borne out of a need to address increasing concerns over food quality and safety among consumers in recent years. Taiwan has seen a handful of notable scandals  in recent years, damaging its reputation in food safety locally and internationally.

Last year, it was revealed that the sell-by dates on frozen seafood products were tampered  with by the distributor back in 2013.  In 2014, a number of incidents involving adulterated cooking oil surfaced, forcing Taiwanese authorities to reconsider a 25-year old food review system .

Named ‘OwlChain’, the food provenance blockchain aims to achieve better transparency, immutability and integrity for a new benchmark in food safety among various food supply chains.

OwlTing is using a blockchain infrastructure developed by FinTech firm AMIS. The Taiwanese firm is notably a founding member of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA) and is also a founding member of ‘Asia’s first blockchain consortium’ in Taiwan, alongside Microsoft.

OwlChain leverages blockchain tech to create a tamper-resistant food provenance system. Its API will be open to vendors around the world. Two vendors, in Nice Garden and Upwelling Ocean, have signed up for the Ethereum-based blockchain solution. OwlTing expects more vendors to join the platform. The goal is to collaborate on an open supply chain provenance system that provides complete transparency in the production and distribution process of a food supply chain.

Steven Shyu, founder of Taiwanese seafood producer Upwelling Ocean sees blockchain solutions transforming the seafood industry beyond the supply chain process. Pointing to a saturation among 77% percent of the world’s fishing resources, he sees the Taiwanese public becoming more aware of the impact of rampant production on the ocean’s resources.

He stated:

Blockchain technology is unique as it cannot be altered, it’s traceable, and it will bring higher credibility to our marine environment protection label.  Not only will it facilitates sustainable use of ocean resources in Taiwan, we can share this concept with fishing industries in other regions in the world that rely on local productions and distributions

OwlChain joins a number of other initiatives around the world leveraging blockchain technology for the food supply chain. Swiss blockchain startup FoodBlockchain.XYZ is also developing an Ethereum-based solution in the region. Solutions for wastages in the food supply chain are also being addressed with the innovative decentralized technology.

In a notable example of a larger-scale implementation of blockchain technology, AusPost – Australia’s government-owned operator for postal services in the country and beyond – partnered Alibaba, the world’s largest e-commerce company, to tackle the growing menace of counterfeit food products purporting to be Australian exports, sold in China.

Featured image of Taiwanese street food from Shutterstock.