Olive oil is a staple in Italian cuisine, renowned for its rich flavor and health benefits. Unfortunately, the olive oil industry in Italy has a dark side – fraud. Olive oil fraud involves blending cheaper oils with extra-virgin olive oil and labeling it as “extra-virgin” which commands a higher price. This fraudulent practice not only harms consumers but also tarnishes the reputation of Italy’s olive oil industry.
But what if there was a way to ensure the authenticity and traceability of Italian olive oil?
Enter blockchain technology, a digital ledger that creates a transparent and immutable record of every step in the supply chain. A blockchain solution can track the journey of each olive from the farm to the consumer, ensuring that the olive oil is not tampered with or diluted along the way.
Blockchain technology enables smart contracts, which are self-executing contracts with the terms of the agreement directly written into code. This can automate the process of verifying the quality and authenticity of olive oil, reducing the need for manual inspections and audits. This can save time and money for all stakeholders in the olive oil supply chain.
Is blockchain the silver bullet to olive oil fraud in Italy?
While blockchain technology has the potential to address some of the issues in the olive oil supply chain, it is not a panacea. There are still challenges to implementing blockchain in the olive oil industry, such as the cost of implementation and the need for cooperation and collaboration between all parties involved.
To overcome these challenges, a collaborative approach is needed. Blockchain companies must work closely with Italian olive oil producers and distributors to create a blockchain solution that meets their unique needs and requirements. They must also engage with regulators and policymakers to ensure that the solution is compliant with existing regulations and standards.
The Italian government has already taken steps to address olive oil fraud. In 2019, it launched a three-year program called “Made in Italy” to promote the authenticity and traceability of Italian food products, including olive oil. This program includes the use of blockchain technology to create a digital registry of Italian food products.
Blockchain technology can be a valuable tool in the fight against olive oil fraud in Italy. By creating a transparent and immutable record of every step in the olive oil supply chain, blockchain can enhance the authenticity and traceability of Italian olive oil. However, it is not a one-size-fits-all solution, and collaboration is needed to create a blockchain solution that meets the unique needs and requirements of the Italian olive oil industry.’
Olive oil fraud is a serious issue in the Italian food industry, with producers blending cheaper oils with extra-virgin olive oil and labeling it as “extra-virgin” to command higher prices. This fraudulent practice can harm consumers and damage the reputation of the industry.
What if there was a way to ensure the authenticity and traceability of Italian olive oil?
Enter Open Food Chain and the TITAN project.
TITAN is an EU-funded project focused on promoting transparency in the food system. Through a co-creation approach, the project aims to demonstrate 15 innovative solutions, including blockchain, AI, and IoT, that can enhance transparency and promote healthy, sustainable, and affordable food.
Blockchain technology is particularly relevant to addressing olive oil fraud. By creating a transparent and immutable record of every step in the supply chain, blockchain can help ensure that olive oil is not tampered with or diluted along the way. This can promote trust and confidence among consumers and stakeholders in the industry.
The TITAN project and Open Food Chain collaborate with INL, leveraging handheld scanner devices to collect and store data on the blockchain. This data serves as proof of the authenticity of Olive Oil, ensuring its origin from a specific regional variety as stated by the supply chain. By implementing blockchain technology and promoting transparency, TITAN combats olive oil fraud in Italy effectively.
While acknowledging the challenges in implementing blockchain technology in the food industry, TITAN’s co-creation approach is instrumental. Through close collaboration with Italian olive oil producers and distributors, the project tailors a blockchain solution to their unique needs. Furthermore, TITAN engages with regulators and policymakers to ensure compliance with existing regulations and standards.
Together, the TITAN consortium is working diligently to fight olive oil fraud and promote a sustainable and healthy food system through the power of blockchain technology and transparency.