Arc-net teams up with Adelphi on blockchain tech

By Joseph James Whitworth

- Last updated on GMT

Scottish distillery to use arc-net’s blockchain platform

Related tags Scotch whisky

A Scottish distillery is to put its limited-edition spirit release on arc-net’s blockchain platform.

Advanced Research Cryptography (arc-net) has marked and authenticated each bottle of Adelphi’s Ardnamurchan Distillery 2017AD allowing traceability from the distillery through the supplier network to the consumer.

Arc-net’s blockchain platform is recording, storing and collecting all information associated with the spirit release.

This information will be stored on a digital platform, accessed by scanning a unique QR code, and using Blockchain software developed by the firm.

Track through the supply chain

Sean Crossey, associate digital marketing analyst at arc-net, said once registered at the bottling stage the QR code is related to the individual bottle for its lifecycle.

“We have the capability of recording and storing the products entire journey through the supply chain to the end consumer. Using this information, Adelphi and their consumers will unlock full visibility of the bottle’s journey, enabling end to end traceability.”

Crossey said the blockchain platform is an integral component in the ability to capture and share production, process and product data with consumers.

“The blockchain records and stores all information associated with the product’s lifecycle; this allows the consumers to access a wealth of information about the production of the spirit as every detail of each bottle’s story will be recorded, from the field the barley was farmed to who bottled it, when it was bottled and more.”

Crossey said product substitution is big issue for all supply chains. 

“Whilst no one can guarantee that a product has not been substituted, arc-net has built an AI engine to determine when substitution may have occurred and alerts the relevant parties for further investigation and action,” ​he said.

“Adelphi, as with all distilleries in Scotland, has been capturing production records to comply with regulatory and statutory bodies, such as HMRC commitments.”

Adoption of arc-net’s platform has automated capture of the manufacturing and distilling processes, eliminating legacy record keeping systems.

Any buyer of Adelphi’s Ardnamurchan Distillery’s product will receive a certificate of authenticity to protect against the risk of fraudulent substitutions in what the Scottish Government said this year was a £5.5bn whisky and spirit market.

Share data with customers

Alex Bruce, managing director of Adelphi, said using the platform is an integral component in its ability to capture and share production, process and product data with customers.

“In addition to a growing number of countries, globally, recognising Scotch Whisky’s Geographical Indication (GI), we also believe it to be essential that the consumer is able to understand the craftsmanship of making it, and for the producer to ensure the security of their route to market,” ​he said.

“By simply scanning a bottle on their phone, customers will be able to find out unrivalled detail about their spirit. Every detail of each bottle’s story will be recorded, from when it was made to where it was exported, and much more.”

Adelphi has no plans to release an Ardnamurchan Single Malt until 2021.

“Legally all Scottish whisky must be aged for a minimum of three years, so while no single malt will be released until 2021, the partnership still represents a live project​,” said Crossey.

“Our platform will be used to authenticate every bottle of Adelphi’s Ardnamurchan 2017AD spirit a follow-up to last year’s 2016AD spirit.

“It is intended to use the arc-net platform for other lines business that Adelphi has, as well as ongoing releases of Ardnamurchan spirit. We currently have a commitment to utilize our platform for Ardnamurchan’s future whisky releases, spirit releases and Adelphi branded releases.”

Protection of the brand

Kieran Kelly, CEO of arc-net, said blockchain enables a new era of transparency and product authentication.

“Alex and his team are pushing the envelope of spirit and whisky production in terms of quality and traceability, and also demonstrating a realistic and pioneering approach to renewable energy and sustainability, and arc-net are delighted to be a part of their brand story.”

James Withers, chief executive of Scotland Food & Drink, said the country's brand is growing globally and must be protected.

“So it's great to see the Ardnamurchan Distillery merging cutting-edge technology with the traditional distilling process to protect the all-important provenance of their newly launched 2017AD spirit.”

Meanwhile, arc-net has partnered with PwC Netherlands to create a new model for food integrity, supply chain security and compliance.

Arc-net and PwC will use the arc-net blockchain platform, which is a host for product data and provides access to a toolset that unlocks product and supply chain insights.

The firm said the collaboration will provide brand owners with the ability to deliver on product and brand security whilst delivering supply chain mapping and compliance.

Hans Schoolderman, partner sustainability and food integrity at PwC, said: “Where many start-ups and others discuss and research the power of new technologies, the arc-net platform offers a proven solution based on the power of blockchain that gives ultimate transparency on safety, quality and integrity of food.”

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