Innoterra Tech, an Innoterra business unit, collaborates with the Geographical Indication (GI) Authority in India, the state Government of Maharashtra, and the Indian mango farmers collective, to tag each Alphonso mango with FarmTrace.
Consumers can scan the QR code to know the GI status and source of the Alphonso mango, right up to the farm level. This makes it easier for them to pick the original Alphonso, the most premium variant of mango available globally.
The tag will cover around 100,000 metric tons of mangoes (400 million mangoes), grown over 5000 acres of land in Konkan belt of India by 2022, directly benefitting over 1000 mango farmers in India.
Picking the first fragrant batch of ripe Alphonso to celebrate the beginning of summer is a tradition in many Indian families. Thanks to FarmTrace, they can now rest assured that they have picked the original king of mangoes, the GI-tagged Konkan Alphonso. The innovative traceability solution from Innoterra Tech works with a simple sticker scan. It provides consumers with key information points, such as point of origin, farm location, and timeline, displayed on their mobile phones. The technology not only helps consumers but also farmers in the Konkan belt. By tagging their Alphonso fruit, they can ensure that they receive the right premium for their produce.
Speaking about the development, Vivek Bhide, chairperson of Konkan Alphonso Mango Producers and Sellers Cooperative Association, said, “Recently, many national and international variants of mangoes, such as ones from Malawi in Africa, are being sold in the market as ‘Alphonso mangoes. As Alphonso mangoes are GI-tagged, this is an incorrect practice. Establishing traceability for original Alphonso mangoes will help consumers get value for their money and curb product falsification and mislabeling. The true beneficiaries will be the farmers, who will immediately see over 10% improvement in their income.”
Making GI-tagged Alphonso accessible
Alphonso, the premium mango variety named after Portuguese general Alphonso de Albuquerque, has won worldwide acclaim for being the richest in taste and most fragrant and vibrant mango variant premium of all mango variants. Over 15,000 MT of the fruit are exported every year from India, mainly to the Middle East, UK, China and Europe.
The Alphonso mangoes are produced largely in the Konkan belt in the state of Maharashtra. The variant was granted a GI tag in 2020 for its unique origin. The challenge, however, has been to ensure that the original fruits from Konkan get to retain the GI tag and that the authorities can curb false claims by fruit producers through complete traceability of the fruit to the origin.
This is where FarmTrace as a tech-enabled solution plays a key role. Suniti Gupta, managing director and chief executive officer of Innoterra Tech, explains, “Our solution is based on technology architecture that links data already logged by food producers and suppliers, tracks each piece of fruit based on a unique sticker. Scanning the sticker QR code will let the consumers know the location of the farm, the batch number, processing unit, packaging unit, shipping information, and a complete timeline of these steps. Thus, the complete journey of fruit from the farm to the retail shelf is made available to the consumers. This is especially relevant for all GI-tagged products, as authenticity and source of origin are very important in ensuring the right value for producers.”
Gupta also confirms that Innoterra Tech is currently working on integrating the solution with Blockchain to make the supply chain data verifiable and building trust with the consumers. “FarmTrace is already successfully deployed by Desai AgriFoods and DistriCo, both Innoterra business units, to make their food offerings completely traceable. This gives us confidence that we can scale this solution to cover a variety of products in the food ecosystem,” she adds.
Alphonso Mango – The King of the fruits
The premium mango variety, named after Portuguese general Alphonso de Albuquerque, has won worldwide acclaim for being the richest in taste and most fragrant and vibrant mango variant. Alphonso fetches the highest premium among other mango variants, with over 15,000 MT of the fruit exported every year, mainly to the Middle East, UK, China and Europe.
The Alphonso Mango produced in five Districts that is Ratnagiri, Thane, Palghar, Sindhudurg, and Raigad situated in the Konkan belt of Maharashtra State, was granted a GI tag in October 2018 for its unique origin. The challenge, however, has been to ensure that the fruits from the correct origin get to retain the GI tag, and the authorities can curb false claims by fruit producers, with complete traceability of the fruit to the origin. This is where FarmTrace as a tech-enabled solution plays a key role.
A win-win for farmers and consumers
In the past decade, Indian mango farmers have worked together to integrate best practices in growing and ripening mangoes, especially as mango exports have grown exponentially. The farmer collectives have taken the initiative and worked together with state government authorities to register the GI tag for Alphonso mangoes.
Sandesh Maruti Patil, representative of Alphonso mango farmers collective in Maharashtra, says, “Traceability of Alphonso mangoes is a breakthrough for the farmers – this way, all our efforts to deliver the highest quality Alphonso mangoes to the global consumers are recognized. Once the farmers register under the GI initiative, which can be done easily at the official portal www.Alphonsomangogi.com, they can get all their products tagged immediately. I am thankful for the support from the government and Innoterra Tech in enabling us to get this done so quickly and effectively. I encourage all Alphonso farmers from Maharashtra to join us.”