International companies and an Indian bank have expressed their interest in a call by the Tea Board of India to adopt blockchain technology for tea traceability.
In October 2019, the Tea Board of India released an expression of interest (EoI) calling on firms to develop end-to-end traceability solution for tea traceability that would utilize blockchain and other technologies, according to Ledger Insights.
Since then, India’s Yes Bank as well as international companies such as Amazon and Infosys have demonstrated interest in the Tea Board’s request, with the Tea Board expected to soon award a contract for the blockchain traceability project.
Today, India is recognized as the second-largest tea producer in the world. However, the industry has been encountering sustainability issues as tea prices have remained the same for the past few years, while production costs have gone up.
Arun Kumar Ray, Deputy Chairman of the Tea Board, disclosed that the board is looking for solutions which will enable stakeholders to trace the origins of loose leaf traditional teas and orthodox tea blends in order to allow farmers to generate more income.
“If this [stagnating price] situation continues, the labourers will go away and fine plucking, for which India is famous, will not exist,” Ray said in an interview with the Economic Times.
The Indian government has been proactively supporting blockchain development, with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology recently announcing its initiative for a national level blockchain framework.
The Coffee Board of India is already utilizing blockchain to track its coffee supply with 30,000 registered farmers participating in the program.
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