The Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) has teamed up with BloomBloc to implement blockchain technology to the country’s palm oil industry reinforcing its commitment to accountability and traceability.

As part of the agreement, the groups have developed a blockchain mobile app and web interface made specifically for the palm oil industry which follows palm oil throughout its supply chain.

Using a smartphone, each tree and related information are uploaded into the system. The majority of checkpoints are done via the smartphone app, automatically creating an end-to-end digital ledger that provides transparency, accuracy and credibility for stakeholders and end customers.

Following a successful pilot test, the app will now be made available for pilot implementation through a user agreement to Malaysian oil palm growers and palm oil processors, plantations and smallholders.

According to blockchain development company BloomBloc, the app could enable family owned smallholders to gain more control over their processes leading to increased production and reduced costs.

“The MPOC’s pioneering venture into blockchain technology demonstrates our commitment to maintaining our industry’s sustainability and enhancing its marketability,” said MPOC CEO Datuk Dr Kalyana Sundram.

Sundram added: “It speaks volumes about our trust in our supply chain. And it is yet another way Malaysia is showing the world that we value our people and our planet.

“We hope that by creating this platform and demonstrating the benefits of using blockchain technology, we will encourage others who are practising sustainable agriculture to follow our lead.”

The new app follows on from the implementation of the mandatory Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) certification standard nationwide. Availability of supply chain certification links the sustainable palm oil from the mill to the final product ensuring the value of certification right through the value chain to the customer.

Last year, Nestlé launched a new pilot programme in collaboration with OpenSC to track products such as milk and palm oil by using blockchain technology. The initial pilot programme was used to trace milk from farms and producers in New Zealand to Nestlé factories and warehouses in the Middle East.

Most recently, through a study, Juniper Research revealed that the global food industry could save approximately $31 billion in food fraud costs by 2024 if companies utilise blockchain technology to monitor their supply chains.