SAKE BLOCKCHAIN TO COMBAT COUNTERFEITS TO ROLL OUT IN HK AND SINGAPORE
By Siulan Law Mathews DipWSET
"Sake Blockchain", a platform developed by the Japanese arm of the EY accountancy group, will be rolled out in Hong Kong and Singapore to allow consumers to fight counterfeit Sake products, according to a report by the Nikkei Asian Review.
By scanning a QR code on the Sake bottles using a smartphone, consumers can get information like origin and delivery records, as well as details on ingredients, brewing method and quality control.
In addition, the end consumer will also be able to check the brewer's history and receive food pairing recommendations in English, Chinese or Korean languages.
The technology will be rolled out in Asian markets such as Hong Kong and Singapore as soon as the COVID-19 pandemic subsides.
"Being able to tell the story of the production and origin [of sake] will help to differentiate it from fake products," Hideaki Kajiura, a partner at EY Advisory & Consulting told the Nikkei Asian Review.
Kajiura believes that the use of "Sake Blockchain" can raise popularity of Sake outside Japan, as well as promoting brewery tourism bringing more tourists to Japan.
The company is planning to to expand the system beyond Sake to Japan’s fruit industry which is also affected by counterfeiting.
According to data from Japanese Ministry of Finance, the value of Sake exports rose 5.3 percent in 2019 to 23.4 billion yen (USD 223 million) .
The industry is, however, seriously affected by counterfeit activities particularly in Asian countries where counterfeit Sake bottles are often sold at same and sometimes higher price points than authentic products.
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