Ecoalal innovates with blockchain, AI and computer vision in tracking the halal animal protein production chain, which exported US$16.5 billion in 2021
São Paulo – Brazilian startup EcoHalal innovates by applying advanced cryptocurrency technology in the production process of the ancestral and rigorous halal system – a market that imported US$200 billion in 2021, according to State of the Global Islamic Economy Report 2022, produced by DinarStandard with support from the Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism, in the United Arab Emirates. A subsidiary of Ecotrace, which is investing R$4 million to incorporate a traceability solution based on blockchain, AI, IoT and computer vision in order to make the entire production process of halal-certified animal protein completely transparent.
With the launch of the operation scheduled for the first quarter of 2024 and with expectations of applying the technology in 50% of certified chicken exports and 80% of certified beef exports from Brazil in the first year, Ecohalal is already born in partnership with FAMBRAS, one of the main halal certifiers in the country. “Brazil has a strong presence in the sector and by combining this certification, which intrinsically follows ESG guidelines, with screening that follows from the field to the supermarket, we offer an opportunity for companies to expand sales not only to Islamic countries, but also for a global audience that values ethics and sustainability, as is the case with Generation Z.
To give this market share the attention it deserves, we made the decision to open a subsidiary 100% focused on the halal segment”, says Flavio Redi, CEO and co-founder of EcoTrace.
Traceability is not only crucial to halal certification, but an integral part of it. In addition to the slaughter method, this seal takes into account animal welfare, correct waste management, decent working conditions, animal feeding, packaging and transportation. EcoHalal’s proposal is to make this entire process transparent, thanks to blockchain technology – in which the information from each stage forms a link, impossible to erase, which is added to the others -, allowing everyone in the ecosystem, from the producer, through from the importer, to the consumer, have access to this information.
The startup will present the solution at the 2nd Halal Expo in November in Saudi Arabia, which this year has a particular focus on the search for innovations and sustainable initiatives to promote the growth of the halal market. The largest event in the segment in the Middle East and North Africa, it brought together 4,500 visitors from 28 countries in the 2022 edition.
This look at innovation is aligned with a post-COVID-19 scenario, in which regulations in the food supply chain have become stricter. Additionally, the OIC Standards and Metrology Institute for Islamic Countries (SMIIC) introduced an international standard for the management of the halal chain in 2020. EcoHalal, with its Blockchain-based traceability, incorporates a unique digital identification into the product, monitored by Artificial Intelligence with computer vision and added to the IoT style, thus guaranteeing total control and adaptability.
Based in Vinhedo (SP), EcoTrace developed a platform based on technology accepted by national and international markets to increase reliability in the commodity supply chain. In operation since 2019, its main clients are giants in the animal protein sector, such as JBS, Sampco, Swift, Seara, Minerva, Frigol, FrigoSul, Rio Maria, among others. In the textile market, it operates in cotton screening for Renner – Brazilian clothing retailer -, which has made public sustainability commitments until 2030. By 2022, the Startup received investments of R$5 million with the venture capital manager KPTL as one of its main investors. It was top 5 for three consecutive years in the 100 Open Startups list, featured in Forbes Brasil’s 25 Startups with Growth Potential in 2022 and won the iImpact – Latam Positive Impact Startup 2022 and Ibrachina Challenge by igloo Network 2021 awards.
And there are good reasons to develop innovations with a view to reinforcing confidence in the Brazilian product. In 2021, the country was the largest exporter of animal protein to the 57 countries that make up the Organization for Islamic Cooperation (OCI). Even so, the US$16.5 billion negotiated corresponds to a share of just 8.25% of the total imported by the halal market. With the Pew Research Center projecting that the global Muslim population will reach 2.2 billion by 2030, the potential for growth is significant.