With the entry into the blockchain technology scene in the food sector, there are many initiatives that arise in different widths to efficiently manage products in the entire supply chain.
From Argentina, we interview Nicolás Balestrini, co-founder and COO of the Blockchain Carnes Validadas platform, a company that is already proving to be a mandatory reference in the livestock sector in Latin America.
1.- Hello Nicolás, first of all thankful for your time to serve us. Tell us how the idea of the Blockchain Validated Meats project was born.
Carnes Validadas emerged from the meeting of two entrepreneurial technology and livestock enthusiasts who had the vision that blockchain was the technology that made it disruptive to add value to the meat value chain. The arguments are as follows:
1) Meat producers who produce a higher quality product do not receive a higher price.
2) 21st century consumers are more demanding and require more information about the products they consume. They want to know where and how the food they buy is made. The solution to this demand is a traceability trust system that uses tools that let us say, “I support what I sell.”
3) Most LATAM financial systems do not recognize cattle as a genome. Less than 4% of LATAM ranchers use formal or informal credit or insurance with the support of their cattle.
The two entrepreneurs are:
Nicolás Balestrini: COO AND COFOUNDER, with experience in management, project development and expansion of cryptocurrencies and the use of blockchains. With extensive knowledge in the traceability of livestock farming for more than 20 years.
Diego Heinrich: CEO AND COFOUNDER, agricultural engineer and MBA, is a producer and agricultural consultant for cattle.
2.- What is validated meat?
Carnes Validadas is a ready-to-use platform based on blockchain technology and digital animal identification that gives transparency and clarity to the meat production process, from genealogy to consumer.
This differentiation enables the meat to be modified and thus a higher final value and better market positioning.
It is the first platform that facilitates the implementation of extended traceability in the meat chain.
3.- On which blockchain platform do you want to develop your proposal?
The Validated Meats platform has already been developed. uses a hybrid system with blockchain Allowed (CV Blockchain) and RSK Public Blockchain (IOVlabs).
4.- What added value does validated meat offer for the blockchain ecosystem and the livestock sector?
We hope that the use of validated meat as an information tool in supply chains will spread the use of blockchains as trust, transparency and open information systems. in environments where the word “Bitcoin” is not known.
We want to use blockchains that do not yet exist and that allow the transmission and display of product information that are open to everyone, via pseudonyms and compatible with IoT devices where a consumer reads a QR or opens a link and overlooks everything the product, no matter who sells it to you. We envision a world of automatic product distribution through intelligent contracts that use the information from blockchains, thus rationalizing and reducing costs and time.
The Carnes Validadas platform enables all actors to convert their production information into value through the effects on the blockchain and thus pass it on to other actors in the value chain. In this way, everyone in the chain can show their work to the next and the end user.
In addition, the manufacturer can perceive a higher value for his product by creating a reputation and image as well as by improving the brand attributes via our platform.
Finally, the Carnes Validadas platform enables producers to use their own information to access information management and knowledge generation services, as well as financial services related to the activation of cattle head assets. In this way we want to develop a new financial and insurance market.
5.- Explain what the term Amplia Expanded Traceability is.
We use the term “advanced traceability” to distinguish it from today’s use for traceability: “track a product” (location more than anything else).
Enhanced traceability in validated meat means knowing everything about the animal, where it was born, when it did, what it fed on; how long they stayed at each place, the people involved, their faces and pictures of the animal. Extended means to record all important events in the life of an animal, the certifications of the individual companies and their working methods in our blockchain.
6.- How can a manufacturer of validated meat benefit from this?
Because you can transfer your effort. You can show the next in the chain everything you want about your business and “confirm what you’re selling”. As a result, a larger value can be recorded, which is reflected in the perception of incremental prices. Blockchainizing Your animals receive management, innovation, use the information generated by various devices and technologies and transmit it to get better customers and why not, better prices.
7.- Do you have the support of an official agency from Argentina for their development and implementation?
Without doubt, Several institutions in the country have shown their support for our company because they know the value we can generate for the livestock sector and Argentinian consumers and the potential for positive structural change in the country’s meat supply chains.
Since the day StartUp was born, we have been in contact with INTA representatives who officially support us and with whom we have had very productive discussions about the architecture of the platform. The creation of a “Minga” ecosystem (Minga in Quechua (Minka) means “joining forces to do community work”) would be beneficial for both public and private institutions.
8.- What do you think is your main difference to other similar proposals inside and outside Argentina, such as: B. LivestockID.
One big difference we saw is that our SaaS platform is plug and play, “Ready to Use” as we like to call it. It is designed and validated so that everyone in the chain can create and use a user. We are not generic, we want to offer solutions and no more headaches and therefore the work of every supply chain is done by us and not by the customer during the implementation.
We offer two different products. On the one hand, the Bovenoj report (in Esperanto it means “cattle”), which accompanies the animals loaded onto the platform and contains all the data associated with them and the company. The manufacturer uses this report to convey the information requested to the next in the chain. The Bovenoj report can include:
Physical and geolocalized validation of birth and type. Eg: animal breed.
Information about fattening, teeth, changes in the production and food system and other important events in the life of the herd.
Validation of veterinarians, agricultural engineers and delegates.
On the other hand, there is the Markado report, the QR code that consumers of meat packs in a butcher, supermarket or restaurant can scan to get information about the product they bought and they will consume.
9.- How do you see the cattle sector in the region in the coming years?
Grow thanks to the growing demand for the increase in world population. We also see that it is evolving to meet and enter more demanding and demanding markets. Our instruments undoubtedly aim to support the sector in achieving this in the medium and long term.
10.-How is the project progressing? At what stage could you say you are currently?
StartUp was born in May 2019 and is currently in the commercial phase. We officially launched the platform 45 days ago using a controlled opening method. We provide continuous feedback with innovative users with whom we create improvements and updates. In a short time it will be accessible to the public without our intervention and we hope that it will become the standard of the cattle and meat industry in the future.
From a financial perspective, we are in an open investment round ahead of Series A.
On May 29th, 2020 the first cow brands in the history of the Argentine livestock were produced at the La Loma Establishment in Lincoln, Buenos Aires Province.
11.- What short-term goals does the proposed project have considering the current pandemic situation of COVID-19?
Essentially and generally, to meet the accelerated demand for the digitization of processes in supply chains. In the short and medium term, the platform enables new countries in LATAM and new supply chains.
12.- If someone wants to use your platform, what knowledge do they need to successfully implement it in their supply chain?
The most important thing to know is that no knowledge of the blockchain is required. User interaction with the platform is simple, guided and agile. All in the cloud, so everyone can use it with a computer with basic computer skills. You can contact us through our official website.
13.- How do you see the progress of blockchain technology in Latin America?
There are numerous projects underway and no doubt Covid will create 19 more. The pandemic accelerated all processes sold and digitized companies, supply chains and especially retail channels, and blockchain has a lot to contribute in this area.
As food supply chains are at the heart of food security, blockchain is becoming increasingly important as this technology is ideal for traceability of supply chains and for clarity and security, transparency for them.
Outside the traceability element, Blockchain plays a big role in Latin America. 2020 is the start year, and we believe that 2021 and 2022 will be the year of strengthening technology as a distributed information base.
14.- Is there a number that is specific to the project or information about it?
In these 45 days of controlled opening, we already had excellent user acceptance We have 24 companies (physical or legal), 30 companies and 3,368 active cow brands.
We are amazed at this and have understood that the proposal has a timely moment at which manufacturers and brands are looking to differentiate themselves from those created by traditional advertising. They try to decompress, differentiate and adopt their product, consumers who like not only the product but also the idea behind it.
We are developing a product with which the expanded traceability of the 54 million cattle in Argentina can be achieved. We all invite you to join us and we also join other technologies to create new and better services.