EY Japan has plans to launch a new blockchain-based tracking system called Sake Blockchain, Nikkei Asian Review reports. The system will allow data-sharing of information that can help sake producers more effectively authenticate their products and counter rival counterfeit offerings.
According to Nikkei, the system will enable stakeholders to share data that includes brewing location, ingredient details, and quality control measures. Consumers who access the system will also be able to review the brewer’s history. In addition, they will be able to use their smartphones to scan QR codes on sake bottles and obtain food pairing recommendations.
EY Japan’s new offering comes as Japanese sake exports have risen globally. Sake exports now total an estimated 23.4 billion yen, a 5.3 percent increase above last year’s numbers. Unfortunately, many of the country’s smaller producers lack the resources to track their products beyond the trading houses.
Meanwhile, counterfeit sake has continued to pose a real challenge for those producers, with many inauthentic products being sold across Asia. EY Advisory and Consulting partner Hidaeki Kajiura noted that the blockchain can help to mitigate that problem:
"Being able to tell the story of the production and origin [of sake] will help to differentiate it from fake products.”
He also suggested that the system could help expand sake consumption in other countries, as restaurants and retailers use it to properly pair the drink with appropriate food choices and more efficiently manage its temperature.
Sake Blockchain will initially roll out in Asian locations, including Singapore and Hong Kong, once the coronavirus pandemic has died down and normal business stability returns. EY Japan also has plans to hopefully use the system for the nation’s fruit industry at some point.