Blockchain-based Transformations in the Food Supply Chain

Published : Oct 05, 2020

Blockchain-based Food Supply Chain Solutions

  • Our aim should be to encourage shoppers to eat better, sellers to save money, and food to keep out of the news by simplifying food supply chain processes. For the food industry, a blockchain-based food supply chain does so substantially.

    However, blockchain-based supply chain development requires constructive cooperation and involvement from all stakeholders in the food industry. It would be important for them, from small growers to major retailers, to be together on this journey.

    Let us explore how a blockchain transforms the food supply chain industry by eliminating key challenges and infusing innovation.

    Revamping the Food Supply Chain with Blockchain

    There is an unparalleled requirement across the globe for a healthier, cleaner food source, from food producers and manufacturers to kitchens.

    Blockchain-based food supply chain system implementation makes it possible.

    Via real-time, permissioned, and permanent data record ledger, a blockchain-based network links all respondents across the food supply.

    The subsequent effect of this is the development of blockchain solutions that enable efficiencies in the supply chain, leading to increased food quality and freshness.

    Additionally, they reduce waste, improve the reputation of a company, and directly add to the bottom line.

    Explore More |  Is Blockchain the Right Solution to Ensure Food Safety

    Why Develop a Blockchain-based Food Supply Chain 

    With a comprehensive environment, blockchain can support a business to achieve goals around traceability, security, freshness, and more.

    A blockchain approach is not just about technology, it's about addressing market challenges that were historically insolvable.

    An ecosystem's failure to exchange information in an open, secure, and trustworthy way is the reason behind the challenges.

    Blockchain technology offers a trustworthy database of records, unlike other storage mechanisms.

    Understanding Blockchain

    Blockchain provides the framework for a new wave of transactions that streamlines business procedures while ensuring trust and accountability.

    Open blockchain networks are available to the public and private, such as Ethereum. Anyone on those networks can enter and see any events that occur.

    Usually, such networks involve resource-intensive computations to help stop fraudulent transactions.

    Meanwhile, developing a permissioned blockchain-based food supply chain approach enables invited participants to know precisely with whom they are transacting. Participants often dictate what information is seen by whom while presenting evidence on a need-to-know basis.

    Smart contracts also run on a blockchain, enabling business logic to help settle conflicts, execute contracts automatically, and create trust.

    Suggested Read | Developing a Blockchain-based Traceability System for the Food Supply Chain

    Blockchain-based Food Supply Chain Solutions

    Centered on a blockchain, a food delivery infrastructure rewards all network users with a cleaner, smarter, and more efficient food ecosystem. Transaction and data digitization offers a more effective means of operating through the supply chain, from producers, manufacturers, dealers, distributors, and regulators to clients.

    The solution provides approved users with direct access, from farm to store and the customer, to actionable food supply chain details. 

    The complete history and current location of each specific food item, as well as relevant information, such as certifications, test results, and temperature records, are readily available within seconds when released in the blockchain.

    Blockchain will enable you to follow the modern norm for openness and confidence with capabilities for cleaner food, longer shelf life, minimized waste, easier traceability, and improved access to shared knowledge.

    Also, Read | Modernizing Food Supply Chain with Blockchain | From Farm to Table

    Fresh Food Supply Chain Challenges

    More than a fad is the need for fresher food. Over the last few years, fresh food sales have significantly outpaced all food and beverage units. It accounted for a quarter of all grocery transactions in 2017.

    Buyers and manufacturers alike keep raising their scrutiny for freshness from farm to shelves. Still, fresh produce spoils $7 billion worth before ever hitting a market in North America alone.

    Longer Food Transits before Reaching our Kitchen

    On average, American meals fly 1,500 miles from farm to fork. Excessive time in transport and storage leads to increased spoilage of fresh produce.

    Complex and Disparate Supply Chains

    New goods now invest up to 50 percent of their shelf life in paddock-to-retail transit. Along with differences between suppliers, dealers, and consumers, supply chains limit travel speeds and raise the complexities of preserving food freshness.

    Lack of Inventory Visibility

    It ultimately becomes intangible as food continues its post-harvest travel. It becomes impossible to recognize what happens to the 5 percent of our global food supply that never reaches shelves. Losses during shipping and storage lead to this food shortage.

    Addressing the Challenges with Blockchain Solutions

    A blockchain-powered automated food supply chain allows maximum accountability across the food industry. Retailers can provide their customers with fresher choices (with improved shelf life), leading to decreased inventory losses and increased profits.

    • Traceable shelf life of food products. Discover the applied food quality measures and traveling times during shipment, in real-time
    • Top-to-bottom supply chain exposure enables businesses to precisely identify the amount of inadequate produce and delivery circumstances
    • Access to reliable transactional data, weather data, inventory, etc. It helps to make strategic decisions that optimize and increase supply chain efficiencies based on that knowledge

    Check It Out | Developing an Online Food Delivery App with Blockchain

    Food Fraud across the Supply Chain

    Food theft continues to flourish owing to the complexities of our global food system. Anything from honey and cocoa to peanuts and liquor is at risk of adulteration.

    Suppliers are generally responsible for the effects, regardless of where the vulnerability is raised. Everybody in the food sector suffers.

    But, what's holding alive the food fraud?

    Outdated Practices 

    Owing to the lack of oversight, responsibility, and effective controls, food smuggling has risen by 60 percent recently. Regulators, however, are exploring state-of-the-art technologies to help businesses build more secure and efficient food systems.

    Complex Supply Chains Full of Blind Spots

    Many firms are generally unaware of where and how they are vulnerable to food fraud. Poor ties can exist through raw materials, ingredients, goods, and packaging.

    Vulnerable Regulatory Systems 

    Current protocols for preserving enforcement records are vulnerable to 
    inaccuracies, fraud, and deliberate errors. These may be caused by manipulation, either on paper oin consolidated archives.

    Addressing the Challenges with Blockchain

    A collaborative blockchain-powered food supply chain facilitates complete accountability with the digitization and storage of transaction documents transparently and permanently. It, thereby, removes possibilities for food chain fraud.

    • Increased monitoring in the food chain enables the tracking of culprits of food theft in real-time
    • Safe data exchange between players in the food chain reduces the risk of unknowingly transferring fake foods by participants
    • Improved compliance offers fraudsters fewer chances to access their supply chain. Immutable documents provide greater monitoring of material protection and quality requirements.

    If you are looking to explore blockchain's potential in the food industry, connect with our blockchain experts for more information.

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