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Startup modernises Asian supply chain for Thai durian exporter

Jul 12. 2019
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By THE NATION

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DiMuto, a trade technology service provider of end-to-end supply chain visibility for global businesses, has closed a deal with Thailand's Queen Frozen Fruit (Queen), the largest fresh durian exporter and frozen durian producer in the kingdom, for the upcoming durian season. DiMuto will tag, track and trace around four million fresh durians from Thailand to China, Japan and other parts of Asia.

The Singapore start-up is the first in the world to transform fresh durians into traceable digital assets. Under the deal, DiMuto is expected to turn four million durians into traceable digital assets from now to December 2019, enabling each durian to be uniquely tagged, photographed, tracked at each stage of the supply chain.

DiMuto's Track & Trace blockchain platform seamlessly integrates with supply chain workflows and existing systems to create traceability and accountability for each of the durians, from farms, factories, cold chain to distribution channels and end consumers.

Data is encrypted and loaded onto the distributed digital ledger, enabling Queen and its trade partners to obtain end-to-end, 24/7 visibility to the entire supply chain, from creating trade contracts, monitoring packing status, product receipt confirmation to customer feedback. This in turn allows Queen to share verified documents and data with its partners on a single platform, reducing trade disputes over quality and strengthening trust with its customers and trade partners.

The increased transparency solves one of the biggest issues faced by the fresh fruits industry: access to traditional bank financing.

"Securing funding from banks has always been a challenge in the fresh fruits industry as risk managers cannot see what is happening behind the scenes. Due to the disconnected visibility in the supply chain, the industry is paying a heavy cost for trade disputes, food safety breaches and wastage. DiMuto's over-arching goal is to address these challenges by creating trust, de-mystifying global trade and fuelling the growth of the industry. In the process, we aim to level the playing field for the underbanked SMEs in the industry by opening up new trade finance avenues for them," said DiMuto's Founder and Chairman, Gary Loh.

With the full supply chain visibility provided by the Track & Trace blockchain solution, DiMuto's trade finance partner, Havenport Investments (Havenport), can now conduct more accurate credit assessment and extend trade financing to more quality businesses.

Havenport has started providing trade financing to Queen, which has 14 fresh durian packing houses across the country, and four factories to produce Thai tropical fruits for domestic sales and exports to over 30 countries. In 2018, Queen was responsible for more than 10 million durians exported to international markets with, posting $271 million (Bt8.3 billion) in total revenue. 

The partnership between Havenport and DiMuto could potentially extend beyond the fresh fruits industry, as Havenport plans to expand its trade financing portfolio by leveraging on the DiMuto's technology where possible.

Established in 2018, DiMuto has captured global growth momentum with the support of key produce industry leaders in Asia and the Americas. It has also formed strategic partnerships to empower trade financing in the fresh fruits industry, and to build global industry benchmarks for trade blockchain solutions. 

Beyond durians, DiMuto is set to apply its technology to other produce categories, such as longans, mangosteens and avocados. During its three-month product trials between March 2019 and June 2019, DiMuto has tagged 1.2 million fruits (durians, apples, avocados, lemons and oranges) for various industry players in the US, Thailand, Mexico, Australia and China.

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