Aveda: pioneering blockchain technology in the supply chain
In an announcement made by Aveda the company strives to continue its commitment to sustainable sourcing and creating a transparent supply chain by pioneering the power of blockchain technology for its vanilla sourcing.
February 2019, Aveda launched a pilot program to leverage blockchain technology in its Madagascan vanilla supply chain partnering with LMR Naturals by IFF, BioVanilla, BSR and Wholechain.
In piloting the use of this technology, Aveda stands to gain further ingredient traceability by collecting data from its supply chain partners in real time, via a secure and digital system.
“We are proud to be among the first beauty players to launch a successful, commercial blockchain pilot at such scale, furthering our work in the area of responsible sourcing. This program will bring blockchain-enabled, traceable vanilla to more than 125 Aveda products in spring 2021,” commented Aveda.
“Blockchain technology provides an immutable reference that can be used to verify claims of the source and quality of ingredients, such as the Madagascan vanilla we use in our products,” states Aveda, who further highlights that with 80% of the world’s vanilla coming from small Madagascan farms, the complexities in the supply chain are multilayered, including price fluctuations, climate challenges and intensive farming needs.
Using mobile phones and QR codes, Aveda explains that their blockchain innovation partner Wholechain “creates a tamper-proof record using blockchain tracing of each vanilla bean’s journey throughout the supply chain […] Ultimately, this traceability is important because it will help to demonstrate sustainable, responsible sourcing, high quality ingredients, and more transparency for all stakeholders,” adds Avenda.
This pilot is expected to provide a strong proof-of-concept for the use of blockchain to increase traceability in complex supply chains, with hopes to benefit the wider community.
Grupo Espinosa: 70 years of constant evolution
Founded in 1952, Grupo Espinosa has been relentlessly supporting the publishing industry with producing more than 100 million copies every year – whether its books, magazines, catalogues or single-order custom prints. No project is big or small for Grupo Espinosa, as the facility can scale up on demand and their turnaround times are highly competitive. Grupo Espinosa works with on-demand digital press or offset press, in paperback with glued softcover binding, PUR softcover binding, stitched paperback binding, binder’s board, hardcover, saddle stitched, Spiral or Wire-O. Equipped with the experience needed for a product to leave the plant ready for distribution, Grupo Espinosa delivers anywhere inside or outside Mexico. Traditionally starting off as a black and white printing press, Grupo Espinosa has experienced transformation first hand – from colour to digital offset printing. Currently, Grupo Espinosa is also looking at making capital investments into audio books to match with the increasing demand.
So how did a seemingly local operation in Latin America become a world-renowned printing facility trusted by hundreds of clients? As Rogelio Tirado, CFO of Grupo Espinosa for the last six years says “It all comes down to our market experience and our dedication to quality”. With nearly 70 years behind them, and located in Mexico City, Grupo Espinosa has two major locations – one spanning 75,000 square metres and the other about 45,000 square metres. Both locations are controlled by a single ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system ensuring speed, consistency and quality of work. Tirado says this isn’t their only competitive advantage. He adds “Our competitive advantage is the relationship we have with customers and the trust they put in us with their intellectual property”. Speaking of trust, global publishing giant Macmillan Education exclusively partners with Grupo Espinosa for their Latin America operations, as part of Macmillan’s decentralized hub strategy. Having a facility that offered the full spectrum of service – from storing digital content to printing and distributing – was one of the major requirements for Macmillan, and Grupo Espinosa was recognized as the leading printing hub for providing this 360 infrastructure. Another factor that has led to success for Grupo Espinosa is the absolute focus on quality and time. The staff are committed to providing the best quality in the best possible time, without causing wastage of resources. Sustainability is a huge factor playing into Grupo Espinosa’s operations, and they’ve created a healthy environment with the sustainable use of paper and energy resources as well as keeping their employees – most of them associated with the organisation for over 10 years – happy. He adds, “In order to be truly successful, you need to be good to the environment, employees, suppliers, and your customers. But most importantly, you need to be sustainable, you need to have proper working conditions, pay proper salaries, proper prices for paper, source the paper from sustainable sources, pay your taxes, basically be a good global corporate citizen and that's probably one of the biggest achievements that we have.”