The Future of Blockchain in the Grocery Industry

Published : Mar 14, 2020

  • Is it possible to track a shipment of a particular grocery item all the way back from its original producer, and that too within a matter of a few seconds?

    Our social structures are dealing with potential food contamination issues such as the COVID-19 outbreak and the instance like Rose Acres requiring 207 million egg recall. 

    With blockchain supply chain development, you could scan the barcodes of a specific item Generally, grocery managers have to wait for suppliers to contact back with the necessary information. Meanwhile, you’ve pulled all possibly-contaminated items off the shelf while you wait for the correct information to arrive.— a carton of eggs, a case of strawberries, a bag of spinach — and be immediately alerted whether it needed to be pulled or if it was safe to sell and consume. Let's explore. 

    Blockchain Technology  

    Blockchain is essentially blocks of information assembled into an extended chain. It’s a spreadsheet that’s encrypted, shared, and synchronized among hundreds, if not thousands, of computers. When a brand new transaction (a block) is created, it gets added to the spreadsheet (the chain). The block becomes a permanent part of the chain, and it can’t be changed or removed.

    Also Read: Strengthening Cold Supply Chain Management with Blockchain and IoT

    More importantly, because this blockchain isn't centrally stored, there’s no single point of failure or weakness. It’s not controlled by one centralized entity, so it can’t be hacked or compromised. and since the chain is shared on a network of computers, it’s nearly impossible to hack and alter one record, because the change would immediately be recognized by all the opposite computers. The change would be flagged as suspicious. Not just flagged as suspicious, it wouldn’t be added to the block.

    But the information continues to be secure because only the people involved during a particular transaction get a decryption key to determining the transaction details with blockchain solutions.

    Using Blockchain to Reform the Grocery

    Let’s return to our recall example: during this particular case, we’ll have a chain of custody and transfer, from the instant the merchandise is packaged and scanned into the system. It gets loaded onto a truck, shipped to a packaging center, shipped to a distribution center, repackaged and shipped to a grocer’s warehouse, and eventually shipped bent on a selected food market.

    You Might Also Like: Use Case: Solving Supply Chain Management Challenges with Blockchain

    Each transaction along the way has been added to the blockchain, but it’s only accessible to the initial producer, the individual food market, the grocer’s office, and any service providers involved in shipping, cleaning, etc. So, when the manager scans that specific case of eggs, the blockchain is unlocked, and she or he can see that yes, these eggs (or strawberries or spinach) are a part of the national recall.

    From Farms to Your Table

    It can reduce foodborne contaminations which may happen within the shipping and handling of a product, like whether a refrigerator truck malfunctioned in transit and a truckload of chicken or raw shrimp was allowed to urge warm enough to start bacterial growth. The anomaly might show up within the foodstuff manager’s electronic report, and with some clicks, he can see that there have been temperature anomalies within the shipping process.

    Blockchain can even have control of farm-to-table eating, which could improve margins of grocery stores that sell organic foods. A recent article in Forbes suggested that even consumers can blockchain supply chain development a smartphone app to scan an item’s QR code and read a report about where their food was grown, what pesticides were used, and the way it compares to other food on the shelves.

    We already know that health-conscious consumers pay more for organic foods because they trust that the products have met certain standards and followed certain practices, although there are not any federal regulations that stipulate what “organic” actually means.

    Explore More:  Strengthening the Food Supply Chain with Blockchain Solutions

    How much more would a consumer procure food that they knew was actually organic by watching the reports showing the assembly methods, products utilized in its growing and manufacturing, and its chain of custody? This becomes a value-added service that customers may pay more for or are often the way for organic and higher-priced food brands to compete against the lower-priced competitors without lowering their prices.

    We’ll be exploring blockchain more within the future, especially its impact on retail, grocery, and also the supply chains that fuel them

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