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Estée Lauder Adopts Blockchain for Vanilla Supply Chain

Estée Lauder Adopts Blockchain for Vanilla Supply Chain
  • Estee Lauder and its haircare brand Aveda will utilize blockchain technology in the vanilla supply chain.
  • 80% of the global vanilla production is carried out in Madagascar.
  • Blockchain technology will enable verification of the vanilla’s quality and source from the farmer to the production facilities.

New York-based makeup firm Estee Lauder and its haircare brand Aveda will utilize blockchain technology to trace the vanilla supply chain. Stakeholders can share data and product attributes at each link in the supply chain.

ELC aims to use vanilla tracked by blockchain for 125 of its Aveda products by the spring of 2021. At the moment, it has finished a trial involving 450 farmers in Madagascar.

Blockchain for Vanilla Supply Chain

Importantly, 80% of the global vanilla production is carried out in Madagascar. With this, ELC will use blockchain for renewable and accountable sourcing of materials in the supply chain.

Gregory Polcer, Executive Vice President at Estée Lauder Companies, said blockchain adds transparency to ELC sourcing practices.

He said,

It [blockchain] verifies vanilla supply chain’s compliance with the highest ethical and environmental standards, and strengthening trust with our suppliers, consumers, and investors.

Using mobile phones and QR codes, blockchain technology creates a tamper-proof record of each vanilla bean’s journey.

Also, Fitomboka, a historical stamp used to trace vanilla beans, has now been digitized into a digital card. Then, data is captured directly from the farmer co-op in Madagascar using mobile phones and QR code IDs.

Barbara De Laere, Aveda global brand president, said,

With blockchain, there is now a direct connection to farmers in Madagascar, providing us, salon partners and customers more transparency.

Global Partnerships

Blockchain technology enables the verification of the vanilla’s quality and source from the farmer to the production facilities. Examples of these include Grasse, France, and Aveda’s manufacturing facility in Minnesota, US.

Moreover, blockchain mitigates complexities across the vanilla supply chain, triggered by unforeseen circumstances like global pandemics or climate change. This is also a stepping stone toward realizing its objective of developing robust social action plans and biodiversity for sensitive ingredient supply chains by 2025.

In February 2019, ELC and Aveda partnered with LMR Naturals by IFF and local Madagascar vanilla supplier Biovanilla. Furthermore, they also collaborated with global sustainable business partner BSR and blockchain innovation partner Wholechain The partnership seeks to leverage blockchain technology in its Madagascan vanilla supply chain.

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