Note: This blog is written by an external blogger. The views and opinions expressed in this post are solely those of the author.
One of the few things that everyone on the planet can relate to is food. Food is essentially essential for the human ecosystem to survive and is one of our most basic needs, as well as one of the world’s most valuable industries.
Thanks to several new blockchain-powered innovations, it appears the food industry is on line to be revolutionized by this disruptive technology, ushering in a new era that is more transparent, ethical, and gives consumers more control. Is.
Most of us understand food and the food industry only from the point of view of an end consumer, that is, the end of the food supply chain. However, there exists a global network to transport food from its place of origin to our tables.
Although this system appears to be effective on paper, it has many drawbacks in practice. To begin with, most consumers have no idea where their food comes from. The only information available is that – it comes from a farm somewhere on the planet. While this lack of transparency does not affect all consumers equally, some concerns have been raised.
For example, in 2018, meat was found in meat-free products that were sold in supermarkets. Again, the lack of transparency between food manufacturers and consumers proved counterproductive over time, especially those with dietary restrictions or those who wish to consume only ethically sourced food.
Blockchain – the missing piece in the puzzle
Blockchain technology could be the key to closing the access gap in the food industry. A prime example of how a retailer is using blockchain in its supply chain is Carrefour, a French supermarket. The company operates several food supply lines on the blockchain such as Corallina Tomato, Rocamador Cheese and Guillot Fresh Milk. Consumers can scan the barcodes on these items to obtain information about the origin of the food, its supply chain, and whether antibiotics or pesticides were used during the process.
Nestlé has partnered with OpenSC, a blockchain platform, to track milk from New Zealand farms and producers to Nestlé factories and warehouses across the Middle East. Meanwhile, Cermaq Salmon and Labrie have teamed up to leverage the IBM Food Trust platform to ensure traceability and transparency across their supply chain.
Blockchain provides a secure environment for each supply chain participant to access all data, and this data cannot be modified once it is entered and validated. A farmer who presents a certified organic food certificate by an authorized organization, for example, cannot tamper with that certificate later.
According to the latest study by Juniper Research, “Key Vertical Opportunities, Trends and Challenges 2019-2030,” blockchain paired with IoT sensors and trackers will have various advantages. These include streamlining the supply chain, reducing retailer costs, offering simpler regulatory compliance, and enabling $31 billion in food fraud savings globally by 2024.
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A simple, smart contract can significantly reduce the number of intermediaries in a supply chain network. These smart contracts can help farmers/producers to reduce transaction costs, increase margins and increase efficiency, allowing a substantial portion of the profits to be transferred directly to the farmer/producer.
This is a major problem, especially in India, where millions of citizens and the Indian economy are heavily dependent on agriculture. In most cases, these honest, hardworking farmers are left out because of the multitude of middlemen between the farm and the table, reducing profits for farmers and increasing costs for buyers.
According to a 2018 policy paper published by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), blockchain technology has the potential to significantly transform India’s food supply chain. Blockchain technologies can help establish an immutable contract between different players in the supply chain, thereby increasing system transparency.
Tech IBM is also playing a major role in reducing food wastage in India by using blockchain technology. Not just a waste. IBM estimates that billions of home cooks will be able to easily detect dangerous contaminants in their food within five years. All they would need would be a cell phone or a countertop equipped with artificial intelligence (AI) sensors.
The use of blockchain in the food industry will have implications beyond supply chain efficiency. This means that consumers can have more trust in the products they pay for and have more control over the food they eat. Simply put, blockchain will revolutionize the way we consume our daily food.
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