R3 and ripe.io partner to provide intelligent transparency and trust for the food and agricultural supply chain on Microsoft Azure

19th June 2019 (New York and San Francisco) – R3, a global enterprise blockchain software firm and Ripe Technology (ripe.io), the innovative startup bringing blockchain to the food industry, are joining forces to improve transparency and trust in food and agriculture supply chains through the digitization and enterprise adoption of blockchain.

Through the collaboration, ripe.io will leverage R3’s Corda Enterprise and Microsoft Azure to serve its growing food and agricultural customer base. A key feature of the Corda Enterprise platform is its scalability and data privacy management, which is essential for ripe.io’s institutional customers. Through the use of R3’s platform, development community, and ecosystem, both companies will be able to more effectively use distributed ledger systems to rapidly digitize the food supply chain. 

“This is another important vote of confidence in R3’s technology to deliver results and build a more efficient food supply chain,” said David E. Rutter, CEO and founder of R3. “ripe.io has been on the forefront of engaging all of the actors in the supply chain to digitize activity from farm to fork. As a blockchain platform built with the rigorous privacy demands of global business in mind, Corda Enterprise is the perfect platform for their efforts. We are excited to welcome ripe.io to the R3 community and to expand our ecosystem into food,” he added. 

The cooperation will enable ripe.io to continue its mission to build long-lasting trust and confidence in the food supply chain through a platform where everyone will be able to access transparent and reliable information on the origin, the journey, sustainability and the quality of their food.

Concurrently, it will allow R3 to expand its platform into the food and agriculture ecosystem, a previously untapped market for its technology. By connecting into the Corda ecosystem, ripe.io’s food and agriculture supply chain participants will join more than 300 of the world’s largest companies already utilizing the R3 platform, including financial services organizations, technology firms, central banks, regulators, and trade associations. 

Microsoft will support the effort with cloud technology for data, security and improved blockchain capabilities for enterprises. The companies will explore incorporation of Microsoft’s advanced AI platform and tools, specifically tailored to the needs of the vast food and agriculture domains, that are in need of transparency and improved trust, enabling consumers to know more about their food.

Raja Ramachandran, CEO of ripe.io, said: “This collaboration is an important and exciting milestone for our company. I want to express, on behalf our entire team, how energizing it is to have the support, encouragement and endorsement of R3 and Microsoft to continue our work of empowering people to make confident choices about the food they eat, grow and sell.”

Craig Hajduk, Principal PM Manager, Microsoft Azure at Microsoft Corp. said: “As digital transformation sweeps through the food and agriculture supply chain and extends beyond the walls of an individual organization, companies need solutions that enable them to securely optimize and share their business processes and data. We see ripe.io as an agent of innovation and are thrilled to partner with them.”


About R3

R3 is an enterprise blockchain software firm working with a broad ecosystem of more than 300 members and partners across multiple industries from both the private and public sectors to develop on Corda, its open-source blockchain platform, and Corda Enterprise, a commercial version of Corda for enterprise usage.

R3’s global team of over 200 professionals in 13 countries is supported by over 2,000 technology, financial, and legal experts drawn from its global member base.

Learn more at r3.com.

About Ripe Technology

Ripe Technology is on a mission to build long-lasting trust and confidence in our food supply chain through a platform where everyone will be able to access transparent and reliable information on the origin, the journey and quality of their food. With funding support from both Maersk Ventures and Relish Works, ripe.io has offices in both San Francisco and New York City.  Learn more at ripe.io.  

Press contacts


Nick Murray-Leslie

Chatsworth Communications

+44 (0)207 440 9780



Charley Cooper, R3

+1 929 329 1550


Ripe Technology

Kristina Babbitt

+1 415 494 7767


How Sweetgreen Found Its Sweet Spot, On Purpose

By Aaron Kwittken

More than a decade ago, sweetgreen, the Washington D.C.-founded food establishment opened its doors creating a destination for Americans to enjoy simple, seasonal and healthy food, with a purpose. Since then, the brand has cultivated an admirable and differentiated brand identity, inspiring healthier communities by connecting people to real food.

I recently spoke with Nathaniel Ru, cofounder and chief brand officer of sweetgreen, to learn how purpose is ingrained in the brand’s DNA – and to uncover the recent partnerships sweetgreen pursued in an effort to propel their vision. 

Nathaniel Ru, Cofounder and Chief Brand Officer, SWEETGREEN

Nathaniel Ru, Cofounder and Chief Brand Officer, SWEETGREEN

Aaron Kwittken: In your own words, can you share your founder story?

Nathaniel Ru: Nicolas, Jonathan and I met as freshmen at Georgetown University. When we started out, there were two choices: food that was fast, cheap and unhealthy or slow, expensive and fresh. We wanted to create a place where you didn’t have to sacrifice price for flavor or convenience. In 2007, we opened our first sweetgreen location - a 560 square foot shack down the street from campus. Fast forward, 11 years later and we’ve opened nearly 100 locations in eight states, have more than 3,500 team members and work with over 150 farmers across the country. Our mission today is the same as it was 11 years ago - to connect people to real food.

Kwittken: From a marketing communications perspective, what were the challenges early on in growing momentum of the brand?

Ru: In the beginning, we noticed that the food companies with the best marketing were always the most unhealthy. Our thesis was, ‘How can we use similar marketing tactics to tell the story of real, healthy food and make it a bigger part of the conversation?’ We also realized that simply telling people to eat their vegetables wasn’t going to work. We had to connect it to a lifestyle and to our customers passion points such as music, wellness and social impact. We looked outside our category to brands like Nike, Supreme and Patagonia who were leveraging culture and social impact in a way that reinforced their unique point of view. The challenge early on, was to change the mindset that we were just a “salad place” and that sweetgreen could stand for much more.

Kwittken: Can you tell me about the partnership with FoodCorps and why it aligns with sweetgreen’s mission? Why now?

Ru: Sweetgreen partnered with FoodCorps to help guide future generations to make healthier food choices as part of their re-imagining school cafeterias program. At sweetgreen, we have impacted more than 8,000 students to date with our own sweetgreen In Schools program, and this partnership allows us to nearly double that impact in one school year. Our mission is to inspire healthier communities by connecting people to real food - and future generations are crucial to this. Thirty million American students rely on school meals for nourishment every day, yet 10 million kids are on track to develop diet related diseases like Type 2 diabetes. It’s imperative we change the school food system, and having FoodCorps as our partner on this mission allows us to help even more kids gain access to healthy, fresh food at school.

FoodCorps has started to test concepts that will help re-imagine cafeterias at various pilot schools to learn what works and what doesn’t and collect real-time feedback from students. The experiences provide opportunities for students to have a voice in what their cafeteria experience and environment looks and feels like.

Kwittken: How did this partnership come about? Were you looking to partner with FoodCorps specifically or seeking to expand sweetgreen’s impact and the partnership formed organically?

Ru: We were drawn to working with FoodCorps because their superpower starts with food education. We admire the way they use their impact to drive towards larger systemic change in policy, culture, and the school food marketplace, and we wanted to join forces to bring about even more change. Sweetgreen will help to strengthen FoodCorps’ core programming and support FoodCorps’ work to re-envision school cafeterias using a human centered design approach to develop scalable, school cafeteria programming that both guides students to make healthier choices and creates a more welcoming, inclusive and joyful cafeteria experience. This marks a major step toward influencing the health of the millions of kids eating lunch every single day.

Kwittken: Sweetgreen has created a remarkable brand identity, serving as a destination for simple, seasonal, healthy, food. How has sweetgreen set itself apart from other healthy, fast casual food destinations?

Ru: It starts with our supply chain. We work with over 150 local farmers across the country to provide the highest quality real food at scale. We have spent countless hours investing in both meaningful relationships with growers but also the technology to serve their products across nearly 100 locations. From seed to store we are involved in every step of our supply chain which we believe makes for a better tasting end product. Second is our people - they are the most important ingredient. From our team members in our restaurants to the support staff at the Treehouse office, we believe in leaving customers better than we found them. Through our core values they are the ones that deliver great service daily.

Kwittken: How has sweetgreen built a transparent supply network? How do you continue to market this network to customers?

Ru: When we first started sweetgreen, we would purchase our ingredients from local farmers markets to ensure we were supporting farmers in our community and serving the best product. Not only did we want to provide traceable food to our customers, but we also wanted to build a meaningful relationship with our farmers - many of whom we are still working with today.

In each of our restaurants you’ll find the names of each of our suppliers right on our local list chalkboards - which differs depending on which location you’re at. We also have what we call our ‘Open Source’ feature on our Instagram, where we really peel back the curtain for our followers, showing them first hand how our food gets from seed to restaurant. 

Kwittken: What role do your sourcing partners play in your marketing strategy?

Ru: People now more than ever want to know what’s in their food and where it’s coming from. By continuing to build strong relationships with our farmers and suppliers, and sourcing locally wherever possible, we are able to deliver this expectation to customers. We strive to make the most sustainable and eco-friendly choices possible, and we are proud to share these initiatives.

Many times, we let mother nature dictate what our menus end up looking like so our partners play a key role in our marketing strategy. For example, this winter we launched our Miso bowl, which features miso glazed vegetables including sunchokes and parsnips - not necessarily the most sought out vegetables, but they were what our suppliers had excess of, and we were able to create one of our season’s most popular bowls with them while reducing food waste for our suppliers.

Kwittken: What scares you about the future of food? What excites you?

Ru: At sweetgreen, our focus is on connecting people to real food. It’s encouraging to see a rising interest in a plant-based diet, but it’s never been more important for people to understand what real food means. We are always looking for new ways to leverage data and innovation to usher in a future of more easily accessible, real food. As technology advances, we’re excited to continue cultivating the relationships that make it all possible, such as breeding new vegetables with innovators like chef Dan Barber and Row 7 and putting ingredients on the blockchain with Ripe.io — all of which allows us to build a more transparent food system, while maximizing flavor profiles.

Follow me onTwitterorLinkedIn.Check out my website.

Aaron Kwittken Contributor

New partnership establishes the blockchain of taste

By Megan Poinski @meganpoinski

As more food companies start using blockchain, processors, retailers and consumers will be able to access information about the path food took to get from the field to the plate.

And while traceability is good, it leaves out one major factor that consumers care about when they buy food: How does it taste?

“No matter how sustainable it is, or how it is accessed, taste is the first criteria," Riccardo Accolla, director of digital food science for Ripe.io, told Food Dive. "If it doesn’t taste well, a consumer is not going to buy it again, a producer does not want to produce it again.”

Ripe.io, which uses blockchain and similar distributed ledger technology to track food products through the supply chain, is branching into tracing flavor. Last week, the company announced a partnership with FlavorWiki, which has a digital app for consumers to evaluate taste. 

Accolla said the partnership will allow clients to find out how their products taste throughout production and the supply chain. As it is getting started, this partnership will focus on fruits and vegetables. Producers, retailers and consumers will be able to get insight letting them know exactly how a product tastes at every step in the food chain — as well as how long it's likely to taste good.

“No matter how sustainable it is, or how it is accessed, taste is the first criteria. If it doesn’t taste well, a consumer is not going to buy it again, a producer does not want to produce it again.”- Riccardo Accoll, Director of digital food science, Ripe.io

Daniel Protz, CEO of FlavorWiki, told Food Dive the partnership can help solve one of the pervasive problems in agriculture: the lack of consistency. He said producers, retailers and restaurants want to know more about how a product that was harvested in Africa will taste by the time it gets to a European consumer’s plate — especially the attributes that aren't obvious from looking at it.

“It looks and tastes and feels exactly like the consumer wants,” Protz said. “And that's not so easy for them to trace through that whole distribution chain where you might be going from, ‘OK, this tastes great and it's juicy. It's got the right profile that we want’ to, ‘Hey, wait a second, it came to the next location and now it's really not good.’ ”

While different entities along the supply chain would benefit from that information, Protz said it makes sense to organize it in some sort of flowchart. Blockchain, he said, is an ideal way to make the information as useful as possible because it contains so much traceable information.

Accolla gave the example of a tomato producer using the system. Through blockchain, data could be captured indicating the soil composition and weather where it was grown, as well as the steps it took through the cold chain and storage facilities. But using FlavorWiki’s taste data, the producer could find out how consumers react to the taste as it moves through the system, pinpointing the freshness and taste peak, as well as best practices for cultivation and transportation. 

FlavorWiki’s taste platform meshes well with this incremental tracking system. While most traditional taste tests are done using panels, ranking systems and complex statistics, FlavorWiki has a simple app-based interface where consumers choose between two different ways to describe a product — such as which flavor is more intense, or which attribute the consumer notices first. 

Protz said the ease of the app and the sophisticated prediction algorithm makes it possible to get immediate statistically significant feedback on the taste of food. It can easily be used on products throughout the supply chain, and incorporated to pinpoint tastes of a single variety of apple with different growing and storage conditions, or reformulated CPG products.

While the partnership is going to concentrate on produce now, Accolla said Ripe plans to eventually expand to CPG companies looking critically at their ingredients. This could help a manufacturer who is testing a new ingredient, looking to replace an existing one they already use or searching for something that is more sustainable. For example, he said, it could help a company choose between two farms producing organic vanilla. It could also be used to verify the source and taste of an ingredient that is often faked, or even used to help tailor products to consumers.

“It could create a permanent record of data around personal nutrition, but we’re not quite there yet,” Accolla said.

Ripe is touting the service to existing clients. Accolla said there has been quite a lot of industry excitement about the partnership, especially among those who are more consumer facing, such as grocery stores, restaurants and meal kits. While blockchain and taste analysis are both individually popular, Ripe and FlavorWiki are the first to blend them.

“We are all extremely excited to be bringing these two worlds together,” Accolla said.

ripe.io Announces Partnership With FlavorWiki To Understand How Consumer Preference Can Impact Our Food Supply

SAN FRANCISCO, March 25, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Ripe Technology, INC – better known as ripe.io – the innovative startup bringing blockchain to the food industry, proudly announces its partnership with FlavorWiki, another innovator helping the food and beverage industry evaluate consumer perception with a unique digital sensory platform.

ripe.io is on a mission to bring transparency by digitizing the entire food supply chain, with data taken at the soil and seed level all the way to data captured at consumption. Through this partnership, ripe.io will have access to the FlavorWiki platform for flavor, texture and aroma data acquisition and analysis, with FlavorWiki's full suite of data attributes captured and stored onto the ripe.io blockchain-based platform. ripe.io is the only distributed ledger provider in the food and beverage industry with a dedicated flavor partner helping to bring consumer preference information into its systems.

"We are delighted to partner with FlavorWiki as our exclusive provider of flavor data and intelligence," said Riccardo Accolla, Director of Food Science at ripe.io. "For all consumers, taste is the most important driver in our food choices, and FlavorWiki brings the most agile, consumer-centered platform to collect flavor perception and preference data, with no compromise on accuracy and consistency," he added. 

FlavorWiki brings a completely new and innovative approach to sensory data collection, coupling social sciences with AI, which does not require participants to be trained in traditional sensory evaluation, yet provides consistent results. All data comes directly from consumers, through a user-friendly interface, and results are available in real time. 

"We at FlavorWIki are excited to continue supporting ripe.io and their customers," said FlavorWiki CEO Daniel Protz.  "Placing FlavorWiki data on the blockchain is consistent with our mission of connecting the dots between the moment of consumption and product creation, marketing and quality management.  To be able to work together with the ripe.io team to close the loop from the farm, to the consumers' moment of delight, is a real thrill."  

For food producers and sellers, the major benefit of this partnership will be to understand if and how different soil, seasons, processing and transportation conditions impact consumers taste perception and preference. Collecting flavor data adds the last and critical step to achieve full transparency from "farm to fork". In turn, improved food supply chain transparency could lead to production of better tasting foods. 

About ripe.io
Ripe.io is on a mission to build long-lasting trust and confidence in our food supply chain through a platform where everyone will be able to access transparent and reliable information on the origin, the journey, and quality of their food. With funding support from both Maersk Ventures and Relish Works, ripe.io has offices in both San Francisco, CAand New York, NY.  Learn more at ripe.io 

About FlavorWiki
FlavorWiki helps the food and beverage industry evaluate consumer perception and preference in record time, from anywhere in the world. Founded in 2017, the company has been named "Best Food Startup" at Kickstart Accelerator and reached the final round of the EIT Food Accelerator Network Program. FlavorWiki uses a unique, patent pending digital sensory technology to evaluate flavor, texture, aroma and mouthfeel simultaneously using regular consumers. The company is headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland and maintains presence in San Francisco, CA. For more information, visit flavorwiki.com.

Contact: Kristina Babbitt, Ripe Technology, INC, press@ripe.io, (415) 494 7767

SOURCE Ripe Technology, Inc.

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Ripe.io Racks up $2.4 Million for its “Blockchain for Food”

Today Ripe Technology INC (better known as Ripe.io) announced the completion of a $2.4 million funding seed round, led by Maersk Growth.

Founded in 2017, Ripe.io is working to create what they call “The Blockchain of Food.” When Michael Wolf had Ripe.io’s co-founder and CEO Raja Ramachandran on the Smart Kitchen Show last year, he said:

If a farmer wants to say I harvest strawberries these two days, well, they can say that, but do they say that to everyone? … That’s the beauty of blockchain. It manages the decentralized nature of the food business, so people can post data, they can protect it, they can share it, they can create records with it… In the end for the consumer, they basically get a longer record.

That means that when people go to a restaurant or a grocery store, they can know exactly where their food comes from, whether or not it’s organic or GMO, and how fresh it is. Ripe.io hopes that blockchain technology can help digitize supply chains end-to-end and ensure maximum food transparency for the end consumer. Which, as Ramachandran explained on the podcast, is a $30-40 billion dollar market.

Other companies are also turning to blockchain to bolster their food businesses. Goodr is a startup which harnesses blockchain to reduce large-scale corporate food waste, and FoodLogiQ recently piloted a blockchain pilot to see how this emerging tech could increase supply chain transparency. But Ramachandran doesn’t see the blockchain of food as a zero sum game. “It’s not going to be one blockchain, it’s going to be many,” he said. “And we all have to connect.”

We’ve reached out to Ramachandran for comment on how his company plans to use their new funds, and will update this article if we hear back. 

Ramachandran will be at the Smart Kitchen Summit in Seattle on October 8-9th, discussing blockchain and food with executives from Goodr and Walmart. Join us — use discount code THESPOON to get 25% off your tickets.