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Blockchain Use Cases In Food Supply Chain & Food Safety

Learn the use-cases of the blockchain in food supply chain and agriculture here.

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Blockchain Use Cases In Food Supply Chain & Food Safety

Blockchain - A ground-breaking technology, after the application in cryptocurrency and bitcoins, is now started refining every industry. The list of industries that are boosted-up by the adaptation of Blockchain Technology involves Health Care, Supply Chain, Insurance, Education and so on.

Here we are going to explore the exertion of Blockchain Technology in "Food and Agriculture Supply Chain ". 

Supply Chain, being a vivacity of each and every industry, plays an important role in maintaining the whole process obvious.

Blockchain Case Studies

Before getting into the topic,

Agriculture and Food Supply Chain

"Agriculture is the most destructive industry that we have. More than coal mining and other extractive industries." - Allan Savory

One of the major fields that are eradicating from society is "Agriculture". It is a process of producing food and other desired products by the process of cultivation.

Food Supply Chain is the system that comprises of process of managing the whole process of food from manufacturing till the consumption of the food. It is a wholely a long and tedious process.

Issues in the Food Supply Chain

Every supply chain is a tedious process and faces many problems. Here let us look at some major problems that occur in "Food Supply Chain".

1. Lack of Traceability

One of the main problems that the food supply chain faces is the lack of transparency. These inturns be a reason for customer's trust-breaking over food organizations, lowering the sales of food products, profits and also certain legal issues.

This lack of traceability is due to some companies using outdated systems or paper tracking procedures and manual inspections.

2. The high cost of Supply Chain

Maintaining a complete Food Supply Chain involves many aspects that accounts for a high cost. Some of them include:

1. Logistics

2. New Technology Investments

3. Energy and fuel costs

4. Human Power and so on.

Thus, operating a food supply chain is a big challenge and pays a high rate of investments.

3. Fraudulence in Food

Another major problem in the food supply chain is food fraud. Some of the food categories subjected to food fraudulence activities involve Milk, Fruit Juices, Olive Oil, Honey, Tea and Coffee, and more food items.

All these tamperings, frauds, misrepresentations are all due to the complicated global food supply chain system.

4.  Illegal Production

Most of the economic losses and infectious diseases are caused due to the illegal production of food products. Seafood is one of the notable categories in illegal production inside the supply chain.

The global fishing industry is also facing challenges related to unregulated and illegal fishing.

5. Inability to maintain Quality and Safety

Producing and distributing high-quality products is a challenging task for each and every manufacturer. Some of the causes that affect the quality and safety of food products involve: 

Industrial sabotage

Transportation Delays

Bitter weather

Improper storage and warehousing practices

These all inturns lead to an increase in food recall cases and a decrease in brand reputation.

Some of the other challenges that prevail in the food supply chain are 

6. Insufficient communication between parties

7. Absence of tracking and controlling inventories.

8. Immeasurable Foodborne Illness  and so on.

Checkout the other Existing Issues in the Food Supply Chain  !!

Substantial Food Recalls in History

1. The salmonella outbreak of Peanut Corporation of America

In January 2009, a total of 8 deaths and 500 illness cases across 43 states because, one of the biggest factories of Peanut Corporation of America was found to consist of salmonella.

The company has issued an enormous recall in history which accounts for 2,100 different products, contained affected peanuts.

2. Salmonella Contamination by Cargill food company

In August 2011, Cargill food company was forced to recall its 36 million pounds of ground turkey. All those were found to be risky with the contamination of salmonella.

3. E.Coli Attack by Nestle

In June 2009, 65 illnesses that were reported in 29 different states accounts for the forced recalls of Nestle USA's 300,000 cases of refrigerated cookie dough products. 

Finally, there came a situation, that company telling their consumers to just throwback all the Nestle toll House refrigerated cookie dough products to make them safe from illness.

4. Milk Contamination Issue in China

In 2008, Chinese Milk Scandal accounted to the death of 6 babies and around 54,000 babies were affected in China. This is due to the food contamination made with an organic compound, Melamine.

These are some of the notable recalls and there are many in the history of food issues and contaminations.

Blockchain - The rescuer

In 2010, the estimation of the WHO reported that 582 million people across the globe has suffered from various kind of Food Poisoning. This approximately implies that 1 out of every 14 people were affected.

Every year the number of people victimized by food poisoning increases at a huge rate. This demanded the Traceability in the food supply chain. Now, all the humans in the world are reliant on the global food supply chain which may prevent more deaths. 

The implementation of Blockchain Technology can make those big supply chain process more transparent and this allows a food manufacturer to make guarantee food authenticity.

Thus, Blockchain will be the majestic rescuer of " Food Supply Chain" and all of the humans from Contamination Issues.

Blockchain in Food Supply Chain

Now, let us deeply look into how this blockchain technology would be implemented in the food supply chain.

1. Storing the information on food crops by farmers 

Every farmer can save their grown-up crop details such as type of crop, origination, sowing procedure and so on with blockchain technology-based applications. This stored information can be accessible by all the involved stakeholders within the network. To make decisions prior by factories over the quality of crops, the farmers can upload the current picture of the crops which are processed through AI and other technologies.

While feeding all these data on the blockchain, the compliance and regulations built on smart contracts are met. After the crops are grown, the farmers distribute them for refineries or food processing companies for further processing.

2. Adding food processing details using food processors

Using food processors, after receiving the crops from farmers the food processing companies can bid for crops using smart contracts. Once the bit is accepted, they should start the food processing and store the information on the blockchain.

This information stored on the public blockchain is accessible by all and help retailers and consumers to verify the complete food processing.

3. Bidding for processed products by Wholesalers

After completion of food processing, wholesalers can start bidding through the smart contract. The processing companies then transport the processed food item to wholesalers and update details on blockchain.

Transporting food items through IOT-based vehicles can help you track the food and its locations and can store them on the blockchain which could help retailers aware of food's conditions.

4. Safety of Food can be traced by End-consumers

The whole food supply chain information such as farm origination details, batch numbers, transportation info, processing data, expiration details, and other details can be maintained digitally in the blockchain. All this information stored can be validated by all stakeholders.

After the validation of each block, the entire chain is created. With the help of blockchain records of the supply chain, every end-user can track the safety of food items.

This transparency in the food supply chain can reduce food contamination and increase food safety.

Know what exactly blockchain can do for Food Supply Chain !!

Benefits of Blockchain in Food Supply Chain

Blockchain Technology has the tendency to add an extra layer of security in the food supply chain. Listed here are the benefits of using blockchain in the food supply chain industry.

1. Easy to Trace

By using blockchain, everything starting from production to sale of a food product can be recorded and can be accessed easily. As the data recorded is traceable by everyone in the network which resist food frauds and food recalls.

2. Safety of Food Products 

As the data of foods are stored permanently on the blockchain network there is fewer chances fo contamination and food incidents. Thus would surely increase food safety by saving human lives.

3. Quick and Safe Transactions

Using the blockchain, the process of all transactions can be done in a matter of seconds. Each of the data is validated with care and security.

4. Efficiency 

As the records in blockchain are easily traceable, which means there occurs no food theft or contamination. This end-to-end traceability of all records of the food supply chain on the blockchain network constantly increases the efficiency.

5. Reduced Cost 

Blockchain, when applied to food supply chain, can speed up the whole supply chain process with the elimination of middle man and extra costs occurring inside the process. This saves money, risks by frauds and so on.

Thus implementing blockchain can bring a lot benefits to human and their surroundings.

Real-Time Application of Blockchain in Food Industry

There are some food-related industries that adopted blockchain technology for their process of manufacturing of food items. Some of the notable investors of blockchain in food supply chain involve:

1. ChainTrade

2. Farm2Kitchen

3. Owlchain

4.  IBM Food Trust

5. Avenues-GT and more.

Look at some of the food companies adopting blockchain technology.

blockchain in food market map


They all work on bringing the next-level of blockchain application in various phases of the food supply chain with the use of decentralized ledger technology. 

ChainTrade and Avenues-GT are working on a decentralized platform for tokenized commodities and  Arc-Net focusing on brand protection and validation using DLT.

Explore here Additional Real Time Application of Blockchain in Food Industry !

Future Scope 

Blockchain is a vibrant technology that cherishes every industry to the transformation of the next level. The most notable application of blockchain technology in the food supply chain and many food industries have started implementing it. Some of the companies such as  Skuchain are building blockchain-based inventory financing models.

This would surely help the traceability of food items even by end-users which inturns increases trust. In future, there will be more food industries in the list that uses blockchain technology for their supply chain management. 

Hoping for "No Deaths due to Food Contamination " by the implementation of blockchain technology in the food supply chain.

"A farmer is always going to be rich next year".   - Philemon

Let the Blockchain in Food Industry make the above words true. 

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