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Tea Board of India considers using blockchain for end-to-end traceability

Wed, 30 Oct 2019, 07:34 am UTC

The Tea Board of India, a government agency that aims to promote the cultivation, processing, and domestic and international trade of tea, is considering using blockchain technology to facilitate end-to-end traceability of tea, according to Business Standard.

The agency last week floated an expression of interest (EOI) for “designing, developing and commissioning end-to-end technology to ensure traceability of the entire value chain of tea trade.”

India is currently the world’s second-largest producer of tea in the world and the world’s 4th largest exporter of tea. However, the country’s tea industry is plagued with a number of problems including oversupply, quality concerns, low price realization, reducing global demand, non-remunerative prices for the small growers, etc.

The Tea Board is seeking to leverage blockchain technology in order to eliminate adulteration and preserve the identity of Indian tea, while improving consumer experience.

According to the EOI, the agency is seeking to engage a consultancy firm to “Propose a combination of latest/emerging technology (preferably blockchain technology) enabled solution (including mobile applications) for integrating the existing systems which shall convert the stand alone applications into a ring fenced electronic environment capturing the entire details of supply chain from procurement of raw materials by the manufacturers to the disposal of made teas to the primary buyers through auction.”

The Tea Board believes that this integration and the resulting digitization of the Indian tea marketing channel will help the end consumers in the traceability of the Indian origin teas and help bring the Indian tea industry into the mainstream of the digital economy.

Other benefits as perceived by the agency include facilitating a transparent and free-market structure, enhanced price realization, tamperproof and auditable data pertaining to supply, demand, and consumption of tea within India and abroad, quick resolution pertaining to the quality of tea, etc.

“It is good for the industry if traceability can actually be implemented. Not only the consumers will be able to know that origin of the tea like from which garden and region, the adulteration of tea, if any, can also be tracked,” Vivek Goenka, chairman at the Indian Tea Association, said.

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