November 14, Shuangjiang, China- On November 13, The Conference of Yunnan Pu’er Tea Traceability Platform was successfully held by the People’s Government of Shuangjiang County, with government officials attendees from People’s Government of Lincang City, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences Tea Department, Yunnan Tea Traceability Association and so forth. VeChain, together with Menku Rongshi, Yunlian, and Linova, announced the Yunnan Pu’er Tea Traceability Platform powered by VeChain ToolChain™.
Pu’er tea is a class of fermented teas primarily grown and processed in the province of Yunnan. In 2018, the total production volume of Pu’er tea in China reached 172,000 tons. Similar to wine, some branded Pu’er tea are viewed as luxury collectible consumables, commanding north of $3500 per kilogram, and some selected brands and vintage can fetch astronomical pricing during auctions. During an auction in Hong Kong on May of 2019, 7 bricks of old Pu’er vintage lot weighing 2320 grams (Lot 128 Hundred Year SongYu. Blue Label) fetched over 15.6 million HKD or $2.0 Million U.S. Dollars.
Being massively popular, and given the valuable nature of Pu’er tea in Chinese societies, safety, quality and in this case, authenticity of these luxury consumable products have become major factors of concern. In a report as recent as Oct of 2019, CCTV reported that counterfeiting of Gushu Pu’er tea (Old Tree Pu’er) was prevailing in Yunnan, with inferior goods priced high and fake labels attached to unqualified products. Facing the challenge, a policy paper titled The Protection of Gushu Tea Resource was issued in July, 2019, urging to establish a regulatory framework over the production of Gushu tea before 2020. The governor of Yunnan Province, Mr. Ruan Chengfa, also highlighted the necessity of “one-product-one-code” in anti-counterfeiting solutions of gushu tea.
Heeding the call of the Chinese Central Government on product traceability, Mengku Rongshi and Linova chose to collaborate with VeChain and its channel partner Yunlian to co-develop the Yunnan Pu’er Tea Traceability Platform based on the BaaS platform VeChain ToolChain™ to tackle this long-existing and multi-billion dollar problem. The blockchain-powered system will provide transparent and trustworthy tea trades benefiting both producers and customers.
The Yunnan Pu’er Tea Traceability Platform is one of the first third-party platforms that have been indexed into the National Important Products Traceability System.
Lu Xiutian speaking on the conference
The first batch introduced in the traceability platform to be tracked using the VeChainThor blockchain will be 200,000 Pu’er tea bricks produced by Mengku Rongshi, the leading brand renowned for deluxe branded Pu’er tea. Given the large scale of tea production in Yunnan, the platform aims to cover a much larger market share going forward.
Mr. Lu Xiutian, the representative from the Department of Commerce of Yunnan Province, delivered a speech saying, “Yunnan Province has been devoted in building a coordinating food traceability system. Therefore, we should attach great significance to this tea traceability platform, sparing no efforts to ensure every tea brick has traceable origin, verified proper distribution and logistics, and authentic qualification, which can certainly raise the reputation of Yunnan tea globally.”
Each product transferred on the Yunnan Pu’er Tea Traceability Platform will be bounded with either unique QR codes or NFC chips that is embedded with a solitary smart ID. During the whole lifecycle of a tea brick, including raw material, fine processing, warehousing, channel distribution, in-store selling, end-users, and recall if necessary, the platform can record all related information and data to be uploaded onto the VeChainThor Blockchain by IoT devices. Once the customers scan the QR code or NFC tag using their smartphone, they can have instant and direct access to all the information.
A glance at the traceability information built on the VeChainThor Blockchain accessed using a smartphone
Mr. Qian Chengcheng, CBO at VeChain, stressed that, “As the leading enterprise-friendly public blockchain platform, VeChain is committed to powering the real economy and releasing the untapped business value by reliable blockchain technology. The Yunnan Pu’er Tea Traceability Platform has a meaningful impact on the mass adoption of blockchain in the tea industry within Yunnan Province and across the domestic market. In addition, this use case can be used as a reference for other regional premium agricultural products such as Yangcheng-Lake crab and Wuchang rice.”
Using a public blockchain, the platform enables enterprises to monitor each section of production, lower the hindrance of supervision, and contain firm risk control. For the customers purchasing high-end products, they will have access to authentic information to acknowledge the origin, safety and processing of the tea. In addition, the immutable and transparent nature of the data on the VeChainThor Blockchain is adequate to support government authorities or third-party agencies to effortlessly audit and archive valuable information.
Intended to scale, the Pu’er Tea Traceability Platform intends to take larger steps and trace a wider range of products, eliminating information asymmetry, counterfeiting and other factors that may sabotage the reputation of Yunnan tea, which will ultimately bring positive attributes to the whole domestic tea industry in the future.
About Mengku Rongshi
Established in 1999 in Shuangjiang county, Mengku Rongshi is currently the leading company in Chinese tea industry, covering upstream and downstream tea business from research, planting, garden management, processing, warehousing, selling, and related tourism. Mengku Rongshi runs a premium Pu’er tea production base starred by The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, and is renowned by multiple prizes includes “Top 10 tea products in Yunnan”, “Top 10 pu’er tea brands in Yunnan”, etc. The company presently owns 56,000 mu (approximately 3733 hectares) of tea garden, and the products have gained reputation in domestic and overseas markets.
Linova is dedicated to providing clients with comprehensive traceability solutions integrated with blockchain technology, NFC chips and other devices to ensure information security, and assisting clients to achieve reliable data storage and data verification.
As a partner of VeChain, Yunlian is dedicated in providing blockchain solutions based on experience in business counseling, business management, information system and blockchain industry. Yunlian aims to support innovative transformation of the government and enterprises by three-in-one services: IT+OT+Blockchain.
Launched in 2015, VeChain aims to connect blockchain technology to the real world by providing a comprehensive governance structure, a robust economic model, and IoT integration. VeChain is the pioneer of real-world applications using public blockchain technology, with international operations in Singapore, Luxembourg, Tokyo, Shanghai, Paris, Hong Kong, and San Francisco. Together with our strategic partners PwC and DNV GL, we have established cooperative relations with many leading enterprises in different industries, including Walmart China, BMW, BYD Auto, Haier, H&M, LVMH, D.I.G, ENN, AWS, PICC, ASI etc.
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