Claudia is a cheese producer, She started her business 20 years ago, she produces good quality Gruyere cheese, a hard cheese that’s popular all over the world, her Gruyere has won awards, she keeps high standards and has strict quality controls on her procedures and ingredients.
Claudia is in a challenging market, she struggles to get the high quality milk she needs to give her the end result she needs, the supply is inconsistent and because of poor farming practices, corners are being cut by struggling farmers. As a result of this she has had to issue recalls on cheese, this has cost her a lot of money over the last 5 years and led to massive food waste.
In order to keep ahead of the competition and being able to show the high quality of her product, she needs to inspect carefully the provenance of the ingredients and it would be her wish to be able to publicise her preparation method all the while being protected by possible copycats who would copy the information and blatently produce the same cheese and passing the process as their own.
French Gruyere cheese has been granted protected geographical indication (PGI) status by the European Commission (EC), after Swiss and French officials met to discuss measures to avoid misleading consumers.
This means that Claudia is required by law to guarantee the provenance of her cheese.
Moreover, her kg price is shrinking because the supermarkets and wholesalers are buying cheaper cheese with similar branding, the market is flooded and she is struggling to stand out, Claudia gets a good margin on the cheese if she sells locally in farm shops and directly to restaurants.
The blockchain is perfectly placed to help Claudia, she has a fantastic product which benefits from transparency, Once she has created her Gruyere cheese block, she includes the following:
Now the block is created she can start searching and looking to connect with quality dairy farmers to get a more consistent milk supply, she can open any found blocks and look into them for the information she needs, contact the farmers directly, and once she finds siutable ones, she can connect her block to their blocks clearly showing the connection and start building a multi-tiered digital provenance.
By using the blockchain she can also target batch numbers much easier and issue targeted recalls, significantly reducing food waste and saving money.
Claudia can attach a QR code to her product where she can show all the data of her block and the new dairy farmer she has chosen, this will increase the appeal of her product In the supermarket and help her stand out locally.
Moreover, she could create an independent block for the process she uses to produce her cheese with all the details, knowing that such information will be digitally signed, timestamped and linked to her persona and thus guaranteeing a level of digital copyright and transparency that will ultimately make her stand out and recognised and mitigating any risk of plagiarism.
Finally, she can later use that process description block as a link for any produce blocks, creating this way a sustainable chain of provenance and information.