End users want to know more about the products they consume, especially when it comes to food. From geography to machinery, manufacturers, retailers, food handling, etc. Food traceability is a major concern because of health issues. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), globally, one out of 10 people gets sick after consuming food that was unknowingly contaminated.
Since food is perishable, the food industry is really at risk of contamination which can affect a person’s health. By having a ledger, the root-cause analysis will be easier through a chronological tracking. Data logged from end-to-end will give everyone within the network hindsight of the timeline of production and operation that occurred.
Blockchain acts as a ledger in the virtual world where it assures the food supply chain accountability and transparency. It opened a door for end-users to know where the food originated, how it was processed, if tampering happened or if it was contaminated. This is not only within the same geographic area, but it can also be anywhere in the world.
Upgrading the Trading System
Although food traceability is critical for the food chain supply, blockchain goes beyond ensuring food safety. It can also balance market pricing because of the ledger within the network, therefore it adds value to the current market. Providing access to valuable data within a transaction gives a comprehensive insight into the supply and demand. It can also revolutionize traditional product trading. It can create a substantially transparent marketplace because it validates transactions that can be securely shared within the pool of networks.
Since blockchain is a highly secured system, players within the network cannot tamper with the data. Frauds and scandals can be avoided with its ledger-based feature and AI capability. Because it is immutable, transaction history cannot be altered.
Players within the network have access to the same ledger that automatically updates real-time. Vendors, traders, or consumers can easily transact within the blockchain since all the necessary information is stored in the ledger without having the need of an intermediary regardless of your geographic location.
Information about the state of different produce or food is also kept such as temperature and condition during delivery. Because of data transparency, it can also classify if the produce is organic, fresh or superior quality. Apparently, it will disclose farming practices and trading secrets within the network. Data transparency may be uncomfortable for some, however, this eliminates inefficiencies, scandals, and frauds that debilitates the food supply chain.
Although blockchain seems to be a clear solution for the issues within the food industry, there is still a downside to it. The food sector comprises many players within the industry which obviously demands a great effort for the use of blockchain. As the system is still a new idea and has been greatly used for cryptocurrencies, it is still questionable if this can accommodate such a big industry.
The integration of blockchain into the food sector needs a deeper study to make sure that this is a foolproof system and can support the food supply chain on a global scale. There is a thin line between data-keeping and data privacy that can be breached wherein a global problem may also occur.
Definitely, blockchain is another technological breakthrough that can assist the food supply chain in terms of accountability, transparency, and traceability.