Scottish Distillery Uses Blockchain Technology to Fight Counterfeit Whisky

There are many things that make Scotland the great country that it is, and part of its identity is its Scotch whisky.

In its early rebel root days, illegal whisky distillers evaded the long arm of the English taxman. Since then it has become a global enterprise worth billions of pounds. In 2016, food and drink exports from Scotland grew by £421 million to a record £5.5 billion. Whereas Scotch whisky exports rose to £153 million, up four percent, to over £4 billion in the same time, reports Scotland Food and Drink.

With 98 active malt distilleries in Scotland, each with its own distinct character, whisky is a spirit that continues to be enjoyed around the world. Yet, concerns are growing about the authenticity of rare Scotch for true whisky fans.

In order to eliminate the risk of fraudulent substitutions, digital tech company arc-net has teamed up with the remote Highland Ardnamurchan Distillery. The distillery has achieved a world first by placing a limited edition whisky on arc-net’s blockchain platform. The partnership aims to revolutionise Scotch whisky exports and maintain the integrity of the industry from counterfeits and fraud.

By using the blockchain, whisky connoisseurs can follow each bottle’s unique story from the distillery to the supplier network to the customer through the scanning of a unique QR code.

Alex Bruce, managing director of Adelphi, which owns and operates the Ardnamurchan Distillery, said that the platform is integral to capturing and sharing production, process and product data to their 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,” Bruce added.

For Adelphi, the adoption of arc-net’s platform eliminates legacy record keeping systems, delivering transparent information that improves operational efficiency.

Sean Crossey, associate digital marketing analyst at arc-net, said to CoinJournal that the partnership with Adelphi brings them one step closer to achieving their company mission: ensuring the wellbeing of current and future generations by providing access to safe and authentic products. He added:

“This project brings huge innovations to the spirit and whisky industry. It brings massive implications for provenance, authenticity, accountability, traceability, security, stock control, and more.  By connecting their product from the barley field to the bottle, Adelphi and the Ardnamurchan Distillery now can greatly improve their company story-telling, marking a breakthrough in their marketing activity.”

arc-net recently joined forces with PwC in the Netherlands to combat global food fraud using the blockchain.

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