NEWS: Blockchain Technology to Halt Whisky Fraud


Advanced Research Cryptography, better known as, Arc-net, located in Belfast Northern Ireland, has developed a blockchain-based traceability solution to tackle food fraud.  Arc-Net has announced that Dunfermline distillery Adelphi Ardnamurchan has placed its limited edition spirit on its blockchain platform in a move that secures the whisky from food fraud.

“This is the first time a Scottish spirit has been fully traceable from field to bottle through blockchain,” Arc-net’s chief executive Kieran Kelly told The Irish Times. “We’ve connected the raw material from the farmer all the way through the manufacturing process and into the bottle.”

Under the agreement, Arc-net has uniquely marked and authenticated each bottle with the limited edition set of 2,447 bottles selling out within an hour of going on sale. The distillery has now signed a minimum three-year deal with Arc-net to use its solution on other products.

 “The spirit market in Scotland alone is worth about £5.5 billion. It is a prime sector for fraud and one that is growing by the day. Forward-thinking distilleries like Adelphi Ardnamurchan are getting a chance with blockchain to tell their story, create an emotional bond with buyers, and safeguard their products,” said Mr Kelly.

“We are talking with a number of distilleries in the Republic about doing something similar and there is a huge amount of interest from both high-end spirit brands and more mainstream ones,” he added.

Arc-net recently announced a new partnership with global consultancy PwC to help fight food fraud. PwC research indicates such fraud costs the global food industry about $40 billion (€34 billion) a year.

Mr Kelly said the company had received many enquiries from major retailers following suspension of production at a processing plant in the UK owned by the 2 Sisters Food Group over hygiene standards and food safety concerns. “Retailers are increasingly weighing up the blockchain as a way to reduce risk, ensure transparency and manage supply chain authentication and security,” said Mr Kelly.

Blockchain is one of the many ground breaking disruptive technologies which will be covered during the AIPIA Congress.


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