A new platform that relies on a scoring algorithm is intended to improve wine quality by sharing product and shipment data across the supply chain and the consumer.
Wine shipment, monitoring, and quality-scoring company eProvenance Thursday announced the rollout of its VinAssure from eProvenance service that relies on blockchain to track the provenance and ensure the quality of wines as they move from the vineyard to the consumer.
By tracking shipment temperature and other factors and using IBM Blockchain Transparent Supply, a blockchain platform that companies use to build bespoke data-sharing and supply chain visibility ecosystems, VinAssure creates an unalterable record of each metric. The company says the records help reassure customers that the wine they are buying has not been negatively impacted by supply chain errors, misinformation, or improper conditions during transit.
"No one wants to open a bottle of wine and discover it's been cooked," said Robin Grumman Vogt, CEO of eProvenance. "When the supply chain fails to maintain proper temperature conditions, that's precisely what can happen.
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"VinAssure is designed to bring collaboration and clarity to an often-chaotic supply chain," Vogt added. "The sensitivity of the product, the number of actors, the complex logistics challenges, and a convoluted patchwork of regulations across the USA and from country to country, are all factors that play into the need for a wine industry ecosystem."
Using existing product identifiers and information technologies such as QR codes, consumers can learn about the wine's provenance (i.e., where it came from, who made it, it's history, etc.) and flavor profiles. Other information such as if it meets certification standards for organic, biodynamic, or sustainability practices can also be included in the wine's profile.
The first member of VinAssure is De Maison Selections, a US importer of responsibly sourced wines, cider, and spirits from independent producers in Spain and France.
"We craft ultra-premium wines from Washington, Oregon, and California that fully reflect the unique growing conditions and individual winemaking practices of each estate," said Peter Click, vice president, International, Saint Michelle Wine Estates. "Our site-specific wines display unique and extraordinary character, so we want to assure those wines arrive in perfect condition whatever their destination around the globe. VinAssure can help us share this compelling story with our supply chain and with our consumers."
eProvenance VinAssure relies on a scoring algorithm to determine wine quality. Based on shipment data and other metrics such as temperature, shock, and humidity, eProvenance assigns a score each shipment of 0-100.
"Blockchain is the ideal solution for bringing transparency to a supply chain as complicated as that of the wine industry, which involves numerous participants and where needs vary depending on the destination of the shipment," said Raj Rao, general manager IBM Blockchain Platforms. "Having an immutable digital record of transactions and conditions ... provides the end consumer with greater information that the wine they purchased tastes as the winemaker intended and reflects the immense care that went into producing that wine."
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