OriginTrail & Matilda Ho Discuss Food Safety at an Exclusive Event
One of the most influential Chinese serial entrepreneurs, Matilda Ho, visited OriginTrail’s headquarters this week. She is the founder and managing director of the next-generation online store Yimishiji from Shanghai, as well as the founder and CEO of Bits x Bites, an accelerator from China (Shanghai) and venture capital fund focused on food technology. Yimishiji is the very first company that deployed the alpha decentralized version of the OriginTrail technology and is successfully using it to match records with its suppliers.
We invited a select group of leading local business executives to an exclusive event where Ho presented her mission and story that set her on a quest to create the future of good food. Ho has discussed her mission all over the world, including this TED talk, which has over a million views.
OriginTrail’s co-founder & COO Žiga Drev introduced the guest and presented how OriginTrail is working with Ho to empower Yimishiji’s consumers.
In her address and the intriguing conversation that followed, Ho highlighted how she started Yimishiji in 2015 as an online, organic food marketplace, serving the urban region of Shanghai. It had the simple mission of enabling transparency from the farm to the table, empowering the consumer to know where their food comes from. It grew to more than 200 employees and developed relationships with local suppliers who are regularly tested to make sure their food contains no pesticides, additives, antibiotics or hormones, and is fully organic.
Ho talked about her vision to empower consumers to get all the information about their food in one place. Ho believes that consumers have the right to, with a single interaction — such as with a scan — know everything there is to know about the ingredients in their food, and be able to make the right choice for them. To achieve this, we need more technologies that can be combined with and applied to existing solutions.
The Need for Food Safety is Inspiring Innovation
Ho highlighted that food safety scandals plague China. In 2016, half a million separate food safety scandals, including those related to contaminated ingredients and false advertising, were discovered during a 9-month period. There are also nutritional challenges, especially in the richest Chinese cities. One out of four diabetics in the world come from China. These are all the reasons that food safety is increasingly present in public debate.
Yimishiji’s success inspired Matilda to found the first Chinese food tech accelerator Bits x Bites which takes the idea of good food further and combines it with cutting-edge technology. Bits x Bites aims to solve global challenges and address the sustainable future of food. OriginTrail’s technology of blockchain-supported traceability, which already has strong use cases in the food industry, is an example of that future.
Support from the European Parliament
The event was also joined via Skype by Member of European Parliament Franc Bogovič, who has already collaborated with OriginTrail on the Smart Villages project he initiated. The project aims to preserve and revive the quality of living in European rural areas using new technologies. Technology can help these areas stand out with the quality of the their agricultural production, connect consumers and producers, fight unfair practices, and intertwine cities and rural areas. One of the project’s goals is to help young people stay in rural areas and prevent concentration in cities, which is producing devastating effects in certain parts of the world.
“I don’t want 80% of EU population to live in urban areas by 2050. It is not sustainable, so we need to support the development of rural areas as an important pillar of our society,” highlighted Bogovič.
Opportunities for European Companies
The conversation that followed was also an opportunity for leading local executives from transportation, logistics, consumers electronics, and food sectors to discuss opportunities for partnerships on the Chinese market using OriginTrail technology. The event was co-hosted by BTC Company which is already working with OriginTrail on the implementation of blockchain technology to logistics for FMCG products.
China’s good food market, with 1.3 billion consumers, presents a growing opportunity both for technology companies, as well as quality food producers. European companies already export EUR 8 billion in food to China annually. OriginTrail is working closely with Yimishiji to make blockchain-based traceability a standard feature for these exports.
During her visit to the OriginTrail office, Ho also made a special appearance on The Crypto Lark’s interview with OT founders. Watch the interview here! Both Ho and OriginTrail’s CEO Tomaz Levak will also speak at the Seeds & Chips food technology summit in Milan next week.