Real businesses are increasingly turning to the blockchain as an additional instrument, which allows reducing costs and simplifying the supply chain. It is the basic, but not the only possibility of blockchain which can be offered to the real business.
We had a talk with Thomas Hal Robson-Kanu, a winger for West Bromwich Albion and the Welsh national football team, and a crypto-enthusiast with over 4 years of experience who recently started a new business. He told us about his vision on the possibilities that the symbiosis of blockchain and business can offer on the example of his brand of natural healthy drinks.
You are not only a sports player, and you have followers and fans in any of your duties. Tell me a few words about your new business. Why and how did you come to this idea?
I am one of the founders of The Turmeric Company, and it is a health-focused company about delivering the most natural ingredients, which is turmeric root, in a convenient and easily consumable manner: in a form of short drinks. We founded the company in UK, and we distribute it all over the UK, offering fresh turmeric shots to all of our customers. The reason why we founded it was because it is obvious for me as a sportsman, health is very important, and having things like fresh turmeric root to your diet not only helps with inflammation of your body, but also helps you recover from the injuries quicker.
Obviously, I use it for myself, but I thought it was important to bring this to a wide audience and it brings this health revolution in all works of life.
In other words, you are making a health revolution with turmeric. As I heard, you deliver special turmeric from Africa, am I right?
That is right. We use as a source fresh turmeric directly from Africa, and we have built a production facility in West London, we created a brand which is powerful enough to really make an impact in the market. We are receiving a fantastic payback from our customers.
Great! But why from Africa?
You can get turmeric roots in parts of Asia, parts of India, part of South America, but we found the most potent turmeric from Africa. So it is important that we give our customers the best quality of turmeric roots, and we made a decision that it is best to source it directly from Nigeria, so that is what we do.
Do you think there may be difficulties with international payments, shipment, customs? Even worse, the products may be counterfeited. How do you plan handle this?
Yes, obviously, the shipping, logistics and sourcing have been a very difficult task, and the one, which we have done successfully. We are always looking to refine our supply chain and ensure that we get the best turmeric roots in the shortest amounts of time and in a most cost-effective manner.
And how do you optimize your supply chain?
I also have been involved in cryptocurrencies for about four and a half years now, and cryptocurrencies are definitely another revolution, which is impacting all types of businesses and transactional settlements across the world. But the most exciting thing about blockchain in terms of supply chain is the ability to have immutable ledger technology. So, as blockchain advances and as platforms begin to create their offerings, what we are going to experience and what we believe is that blockchain will help improve efficiency across businesses worldwide, and we feel that blockchain will have a major impact on the food supply chains.
Are there any tools you plan to use for that, like smart contract, product origin verification, etc.?
We have now reached an agreement with FoodCoin to implement FOOD not only as a payment method, but also into a supply chain, so we’ll be working hard with FoodCoin over the coming years to implement this as a settlement method and also from a logistical standpoint across our supply chain at The Turmeric Company.
Our production methods are complying with the highest quality standards, but once we implement the Product Origin Identification System offered by FoodCoin over the coming years, then you will be able to guarantee that exactly what is stated in the ingredients is actually in there. That is something, which we are excited to implement, and we will be working hard alongside FoodCoin to implement this as soon as we can.
You said you was not a novice in the crypto industry. You have 4 years of expertise, your own audience and perspective. But why did you refer to FoodCoin Ecosystem for blockchain technologies? Why didn't you create your own token as many people do now?
Yes, I’ve been involved into cryptocurrencies for about four years now, and I am developing a cryptocurrency based specifically for the sporting world, but in terms of the logistics for The Turmeric Company, we felt FoodCoin was the perfect fit. We looked into the code, we assessed the White Paper and the Business Plan they are trying to implement. So we found there is no requirement for us to create a new coin which can do what they are doing because what they are going to offer is really going to have an impact across the world, and we are excited to be a part of it.
How long is your history with FoodCoin? Did you participate in their Token Generation Event?
From the personal standpoint, I have participated in the TGE. I thought it is important to support FoodCoin because their offer really has the potential to be revolutionary. I was really keen to be a part of it. Now we are excited to be implementing FoodCoin within The Turmeric Company. I am going to implement it in different layers of our business, from payment settlement through to supply chain and procurement over the coming years, so it is certainly very exciting.
Are you going to participate in the next sale stage in December 2018, or you have other plans of collaboration with this company?
Of course, it’s an exciting time, and I am happy to be not only a FoodCoin contributor, but also, I am excited to be joining the FoodCoin Advisory Board. The fact that FOODCOIN GROUP AG is a Swiss-based company in canton Luzerne really shows that the company is creating a viable business model and has a positive impact globally within the food industry.
Another benefit FoodCoin is going to have is the fact that the FoodCoin Product Origin Identification System would ensure that whatever products or goods or fresh produce you receive, you know exactly where it comes from. Currently, a big issue within the food industry is food pretending to be something it is not. The system which FoodCoin is implementing will ensure that across the supply chain you can guarantee that whatever produce or supply you are receiving, you know exactly the history of where it has come from. That is why I think this platform is revolutionary, the one that is going to add real value not only to the SME growing companies, but also to the big food institutions, once they understand this platform and the benefits the blockchain will bring.
Cryptocurrencies are often associated with scammers and speculators. Aren’t you afraid that the technical convenience of blockchain can deter people from your product?
I think, not everyone has the time to fully understand blockchain technology itself and the value it can bring to the global economy. But we certainly can see awareness of blockchain and cryptocurrencies growing, and as you said, not just only from speculative standpoint, from an actual value proposition to businesses globally, and for me and for us this is the most exciting thing.
FoodCoin is now developing its own blockchain, and this spring it will be tested with their wallet. However, it is still not quite popular currency yet - it is listed on 4 exchanges, and its price is not very high. Isn't it discouraging?
No, I think, as you said, within blockchain and cryptocurrencies there is a lot of speculation, but over the next year to 18 months, what we will see is that the actual platforms which are going to bring value to everyday lives, such as FoodCoin, will be adopted globally. Obviously, to those individuals who understand this, they are going to be in a better position, because they will have seen this trend early. But again, there’s a number of cryptocurrencies out there, and the majority of them don’t actually offer any value and are just replicas of traditional cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin or Litecoin, actually inherently not having of any value, and as the understanding grows and adoption and use cases begin to take place, those cryptocurrencies will fall by the way side. Those few, which actually bring a real value, will be here to stay.
Are there any ways to avoid volatility which may affect the business?
Of course, the volatility is a part of cryptocurrency market at this moment in time, but what I believe is, as the adoption takes place and the market capitalization of the cryptocurrencies grow, it will create a level of stability, which will hopefully then allow for these cryptocurrencies to be seen as viable exchange methods. This will take time, because we are still at the innovative stage within the cryptocurrency world, but those who really understand the technology behind it, are definitely supporting it.
Will it be available to buy your drink for FoodCoin, am I right? Will it be purchasable on 1000ecofarms which supports FoodCoin?
Yes, we are going to work hard with 1000ecofarms to implement our products onto the platform. Of course, we currently distribute UK-wide, so you will be able to purchase our products using FoodCoin via our website for UK distribution. Obviously, as we grow, over the coming years, our aim is to implement our products across different regions of the world. It will be a lot of hard work to take place, and we are looking forward to it!
I know that an agriculture and blockchain summit will take place this autumn in Switzerland. You will explain it in more detail considering the experience of using FOODCOIN in your business, will you?
Yes, this is something which we are excited to be participating in, and it will be a great event for the exposure of FoodCoin. I hope, we will be able to discuss the implementation of FoodCoin into our system.
The Turmeric Company website tells many things about the environment care. Will blockchain somehow help in this strive?
I think blockchain has great potential to offer real value to the environment. As we said, the traceability of products via immutable ledger technology and via the blockchain is something very exciting, and over time, it will definitely add value to the economy.
The British people are very much involved into organic food, and there are many restaurants in United Kingdom with famous master chiefs. How do you think, will these restaurants in London ever start accepting FoodCoin?
That would be amazing. I think, the founder of FoodCoin Gregory is a pioneer in this field, and I am sure he is going to work on implementing FoodCoin as a payment method within a supply chain over few food offerings within the UK, so these are certainly exciting times.
What do you think about the blockchain in real business in the near future? Is it an important step, or just one of the many, and there are still things to expect?
The blockchain, I think, is an ever-evolving space to be involved in. The ability to evolve definitely offers the capacity of innovation, and I think, as a whole it is important that we continue to innovate. The blockchain, in my opinion, is the most innovative technology ever existed.
We would like to thank Thomas for sharing his thoughts and wish him luck in his business. We hope that over time we will see blockchain implemented in a lot of small and large businesses and help people to work and live.