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The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us that the global food supply chains are not as strong as we thought. The industry was caught off-guard, yes, and it’s calling for improvements in production efficiency, as well as distribution.
Now, you may wonder what this has to do with blockchain, and more importantly, how can blockchain technology be a part of the solution?
In this post, we are going to discuss the benefits of implementing the innovation that is blockchain in industries like agriculture:
Improved Traceability in the Supply Chain
One of the biggest problems in the food supply chain is the lack of traceability.
Each food product comprises a range of ingredients sourced from several parts of the world. From the moment it’s harvested to the time it ends up for sale, several intermediaries and processors are handling it before it’s delivered to the consumer.
This makes it challenging to keep track of the source and the movement of each ingredient. The product sold to consumers might have the right ingredients and packaging, but the consumer might not know whether the product came from diseased plants or animals.
This makes it extremely hard to trace back the origin of the disease and quarantine infected products.
Under such a scenario, blockchain can track and trace food items at every stage of their journey from the farm to the end consumer.
It allows each food product to be tagged with a unique identification code, then added to a blockchain. Each time the product changes hands, its blockchain is updated with the details of that transaction.
The details of the components of the product, the originating farm, and the production date can be retrieved with a single scan. That would allow the source of the disease to be traced easily.
Improved Food Safety
Food safety issues have always been a matter of concern. Countries like China are known to have had frequent issues with food safety. Artificial coloring and additives, poor quality water, and poor farm practices have led to various food safety issues.
Blockchain can be used to ensure better product quality, traceability, and safety.
It can be used to track the origin and movement of products and the conditions in which it was grown.
Once the product is tagged with a unique code, that code can scan and identify its source. This will allow customers to know the conditions in which the food was grown and processed.
As each transaction is added to the production history of the food, customers will be able to make a more informed decision about the quality of the product and whether to buy it.
Reduced Food Waste
Food waste is a growing concern in many parts of the world. It occurs because of several reasons. Some of them are related to production, while others are related to shipping and handling.
Failure to provide the right temperature and storage conditions during shipping can cause food waste. Many factors can cause them, but blockchain technology can help eliminate them.
By tracking the movement of each food item, blockchain can help identify the reason behind food waste. In addition to that, by providing the right temperature and proper storage conditions to the food items within the supply chain, the overall efficiency of the food industry can be increased.
Blockchain technology can transform the food supply chain, making it more efficient and secure.
The current food supply chain has its problems. As the population grows exponentially, we need to find ways to ensure food safety and food security.
Blockchain technology, specifically supply chain blockchain technology, can be the next-generation solution for ensuring food safety, food security, and traceability.
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Written by Hiran Wickramasinghe