Explainer: How Blockchain Ensures Food Safety?
Globalization has made food supply chains extremely complex and fragmented which is making consumers wary of products, authenticity, and quality. Right from sourcing, procurement, manufacturing, logistics, and distribution, seamless sharing of information is seen as a major challenge across the SCM. To build trust and confidence in the consumers regarding food safety, the industry needs to find a fast, transparent and reliable way to trace the source of the food.
Right now, the food industry is facing typical problems where there are numerous food safety issues coming from reasons rooted in lack of product traceability and increasing food fraud. As multiple supply chain partners including suppliers, producers, logistic providers, transporters, wholesalers, and retailers are involved in a single supply chain, there are unavoidable disruptions in the supply chain due to irregular information sharing or delayed flow of information which leaves a lot of gaps for fraudulent activities also.
✔ Lack of product traceability
✔ No tools to ensure responsible sourcing
✔ Counterfeit food products
✔ Lack of transparency in labeling
✔ Poor visibility of all participants in the supply chain
✔ Siloed databases and irregular information sharing
Blockchain: A Futuristic Food Safety
Bringing the whole supply chain on the blockchain can transform everything about how the food industry operates. Blockchain technology can offer great levels of collaboration along with trust and transparency by offering a shared immutable, transparent, and consolidated database that can be used to monitor the movement of the food over the supply chain. Blockchain can help in recording information about origination details including batch numbers, production data, expiration dates to shipping details, making it easy to locate the changes at every stage of the supply chain. This further helps in creating points of accountability in case disputes emerge due to any quality or authenticity-related concerns.
The food industry has started to tap into the power of blockchain technology to create an open, transparent, and secure blockchain-driven food marketplace.
Blockchain Driving The Solutions:
✔ Improving Food Traceability: Blockchain can help in building a shared, transparent and immutable database capturing the real-time movement of food and mapping each and every transaction taking place among supply chain participants inducing a high level of surveillance.
✔ Ensuring Food Safety: Blockchain can be leveraged to ensure safety and regulatory compliance building new levels of confidence among the consumers. It will offer a fully-developed new system to quickly locate the source of the food, causes of food contamination, stages responsible for food safety incidents, and even identifying authentic food certifications.
✔ Eliminating Counterfeit Products: To eliminate counterfeits that can create a series of challenges including product recalls, loss of market trust, lawsuits, and permanent damage to the goodwill, blockchain can be used as a tamper-proof audit trail. This vertical integration of the information using unforgeable cryptographic identifiers can help businesses track down the raw materials used up through the point of sale.
✔ Ethical Labeling Practices: Blockchain can protect consumers from misleading label information to influence consumers’ decisions which can pose some serious health issues. All information regarding the food ingredients will be on public records stored on a tamper-proof blockchain and this will push businesses to refrain from making false claims also.