With emerging technologies like Blockchain, AI, and IoT powered solutions, various industries like healthcare, automotive, and more are developing safe, efficient, and transparent solutions to address various challenges. Now, the food industry players are exploring blockchain technology for solutions to address challenges like fragmented supply chain processes, fraud, counterfeiting, foodborne disease, and more. Let’s analyze and find out the potential of blockchain in the food industry.
Blockchain is a type of digital distributed ledger technology (DLT) that records end-to-end information in a shared yet immutable manner with encryption mechanisms across the network of stakeholders. It ensures that no single entity gets the authority to access or manipulate information. As a result, it establishes trust, transparency, and efficiency in the network. It eliminates the need to have one centralized system owned by a single governing body and thus, many other complexities.
Introducing Blockchain in the Food Sector
Essentially, the food supply chain stakeholders, including manufacturers, processors, suppliers, and customers, when using the blockchain-powered ledger, can access end-to-end product records from their provenance to the dining table. Such blockchain supply chain solutions can provide various advantages to the food industry stakeholders.
With blockchain-powered provenance traceability, they can know where data came from while tracing its entire history. Additionally, with tamper evidence capabilities, they can get to know if someone changed information. They can also control what someone should see and perform actions at a data element level.
In the following sections, let’s explore how blockchain applications and solutions supplement the food industry.
Blockchain-powered surveillance can keep track of each link (transaction) in the food chain. It enables real-time end-to-end traceability of food fraud culprits and establishes accountability. Further, it facilitates secure data exchange among food chain stakeholders to prevent participants from moving fraudulent foods unknowingly. The improved transparency enables fewer opportunities for fraudsters to penetrate the food supply chain. The immutability of blockchain records ensures efficient management of material safety and quality standards.
Essentially, supply chain members can have the provision to trace food products in the supply chain upstream and downstream. They can determine the authenticity of both raw ingredients and packaged goods. When participants securely upload, manage, and access transactional data, it helps in detecting fraudulent activities along the supply chain. Additionally, users can also share inspections, quality certifications, and registrations to the blockchain network. It enables accountability for acquired data at each step.
A digital food supply chain powered by blockchain facilitates additional levels of trust and transparency across the entire food ecosystem. It increases awareness of sustainability opportunities at each step within the food chain. With end-to-end transparency powered by blockchain’s distributed ledger, stakeholders can access provenance details to have a detailed view of inefficiencies and lack of sustainability existing across the entire supply chain. Further, farmers, producers, and other stakeholders can use such a system to automatically digitize and share audits, certificates, and other records. They can prove that they use and promote ethical practices for sustainability. With the traceability of each step of the food supply chain and sharing of data on an immutable ledger, participants promise to sustain the quality of goods.
Participants in the supply chain can securely upload, manage, and access transactional data to ensure the authenticity of sustainability claims. Users can share inspections, quality certifications, and registrations on the platform. It establishes confidence and transparency throughout the supply chain and makes it more sustainable.
A blockchain food supply network establishes end-to-end transparency across the food chain. It assists in maximizing shelf life, optimizing partner networks, and increasing recall response efficiency to reduce waste. Further, the provision to have selective data sharing enables stakeholders in the food system to adopt consistent standards, policies, and procedures. With enhanced visibility and traceability into food waste, food producers, distributors, and retailers can reduce food waste along the supply chain.
Participants can securely upload, manage, and access transactional data to a blockchain-powered database. It creates shareable records of food product details and helps in identifying areas of waste in the food chain. It provides participants with capabilities to trace food products’ location and status on the supply chain to efficiently manage and reduce food waste. With users proving food provenance and authenticity by securely managing certificates and documents along the supply chain can eliminate inefficiencies in your network that lead to food waste.
A blockchain based food traceability solution enables users to know the products provenance, its real-time location, and status. If a food safety issue is reported, it is immediately clear who is impacted and who should take action. Additionally, organizations can know which foods have been grown or produced in a certified manner. Consequently, it eliminates contamination risks and potentially harmful food fraud along the supply chain. Help everyone in the food system, such as suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, and retailers to collaborate. When participants securely and transparently trace the location and status of food products upwards and downwards in seconds, they can better manage food safety within their supply network.