How can blockchain technology help and advise in the advancement of the food industry? New Food speaks with two experts about the sector’s potential for this technology.
We are living in a digital era, and the technology that underpins this digital world is advancing at a breakneck pace. The fascinating aspect of this digital revolution is that it affects each of us directly or indirectly. Whether it is a shift in smartphone technology that results in a revolution in the flow of information, or an advancement in online security that results in a shift in how we do banking.
Often, a piece of technology or a system begins by solving a single problem, but the more it is understood, the greater its potential. For instance, who would have guessed that irradiation, originally intended for safe space food, would be used for food preservation or HACCP and would eventually become a required standard for the food industry?
The food industry and blockchain
Blockchain technology is widely regarded as the next technological revolution and is being studied in a variety of applications, business sectors, and processes. This includes the secure handling and storage of administrative records, as well as digital authentication, in order to bolster intellectual property rights and patent systems, as well as increase supply chain transparency, reduce food fraud, and improve food safety.
The financial sector has established blockchain’s unmatched authority, and now the food industry is exploring its potential applications. Additionally, we should keep in mind that this technology is still in its infancy, and it may take additional research and time before it becomes ingrained in the food industry.
The purpose of this article is to explain blockchain technology in layman’s terms and to highlight some examples from around the world where its application in the food industry is being investigated.
How Does Blockchain Technology Work in the Food Industry?
Blockchain technology can be used in a variety of ways in the food industry. Here are a few of the lucrative use cases that the blockchain will enable.
Enhancing the Traceability of Food
As you are probably aware, food traceability is critical in this industry. Tracking products is a significant issue, as most companies appear hesitant in this regard. Without proper tracking, consumers have no idea how or in what manner their food was processed. As a result, the industry is in desperate need of assistance at the moment.
As a result, blockchain technology in food traceability has the potential to significantly alter the situation here for everyone. The blockchain is fully equipped to track food from suppliers to the consumer who purchases it. As a result, businesses can leverage this power to improve their visibility on the production line and provide a higher-quality product to the market.
Ascertaining Food Safety
Another significant advantage of blockchain is that it can be used to ensure food safety. Blockchain technology in food safety can reassure consumers and allow them to purchase all of their products without fear of contamination or any other issue. Because the food industry is still unprepared to identify the true source of contamination. It can often go undetected until it is too late. Thus, businesses can use blockchain to track their raw materials and finished products. Additionally, they can handle their byproducts more carefully, ensuring that the quality and standard of their foods are not compromised.
Selection of Suppliers in the Food Industry
Another area where blockchain can assist is in supplier selection. Companies in the food industry are fiercely competitive, and they always strive to be first to market. However, selecting a supplier for raw materials requires additional consideration, as low-quality raw materials will result in low-quality finished products.
As a result, by incorporating blockchain technology into the food industry’s supply chain, they can connect with more reliable suppliers who are required to provide provenance for their products’ quality. Thus, blockchain technology can be used to create a marketplace in which suppliers can connect with buyers and compete for specific projects based on their quality.
Satisfying Operational Requirements
Meeting daily operational demands is also a difficult task. In reality, businesses struggle to keep up with rising demands and to meet them in a timely manner. As the industry does not always have the necessary channels in place to deal with the enormous burden of operational requirements.
As a result, it becomes quite difficult to meet the diverse generational demands concurrently. However, by incorporating blockchain technology into the food industry’s supply chain, businesses can finally address the issue. They can keep track of all production line components and meet the demands of daily operation by utilizing technology.
Different Firms Are Using Blockchain Technology in the Food Industry
Walmart is utilizing blockchain technology to track sliced mango packages throughout the food supply chain. Previously, it took about six days to track the food’s entire journey. However, it only takes a few seconds now! Can you imagine how much time they save? Additionally, this tracking occurred from Mexico to their store. Thus, the packages passed through numerous stages, and the blockchain was able to detect the condition of each one.
Carrefour, one of Europe’s largest retailers, is utilizing blockchain technology to track the movement of their free-range chickens. Additionally, they enable shoppers to track the process at each stage, allowing them to determine exactly where and how the chicken arrived in the store. As a result of its success, the company hopes to incorporate blockchain technology into food and beverage products such as milk, salmon, tomatoes, eggs, and honey.
Nestlé is utilizing blockchain technology throughout the food chain to track milk from farms and production houses to factories. They are currently collaborating with OpenSc on a pilot project. However, it’s an excellent way for them to demonstrate their strengths to the market because they’ve chosen to be transparent in their actions. Additionally, they intend to expand this project in the future to include additional products.
Anheuser-Busch InBev is currently one of the largest brewers in the world. They are currently utilizing blockchain technology in the food and beverage industry, where they are attempting to improve the traceability of their beverage supply chains. In reality, they want to improve the living conditions of people in Africa, where they obtain the raw materials.
JBS is leveraging blockchain technology in the food industry to improve the process of cross-checking livestock transportation data from suppliers. In reality, leveraging technology enables a business to ensure security, confidentiality, and traceability.
Tyson Foods Inc.
Tyson Foods is utilizing blockchain technology in the food industry to track their supply chain from farms to manufacturing facilities. They are currently collaborating on a pilot project with FoodLogiQ and other industry players. Additionally, they intend to expand this project in the future to include additional products. According to them, the project is currently a huge success.
Kraft Heinz is another participant in the blockchain space. In reality, they are implementing blockchain technology in the food industry to improve the safety of children’s food. Additionally, they want to ensure that baby food are always of the highest quality, which is why they intend to incorporate a traceability feature into the technology.
Heijn Albert Heijn
Albert Heijn is utilizing blockchain technology to track the origins of their orange juice from farms to factories. They are currently collaborating with Refresco on a pilot project. Additionally, they intend to expand this project in the future to include additional products. In reality, their primary objective is to increase transparency and sustainably manage their supply chain.
Plantaze is utilizing blockchain technology in the food and beverage industry to track the 15,000 unique wine bottles they produce from premium grapes. They are currently collaborating on the project with OriginTrail and TagItSmart. Additionally, they intend to address the persistent issue of fake wine in the market. In reality, their primary objective is to increase their transparency and ensure that their consumers are receiving an authentic product from the company.
Food for Bumble Bees
Bumble Bee Foods is utilizing blockchain technology in the food industry to track yellowfin tuna caught by fishermen. They are currently collaborating with SAP on a pilot project. In any case, it’s an excellent way for them to demonstrate their strengths to the market, as they choose to be transparent in their actions. Their primary objective is to eliminate mislabeling and to assist consumers in tracking the entire supply chain.
As you are probably aware, blockchain technology has a number of potential benefits for the food industry. The food industry is riddled with problems, and without a proper solution, consumers are put at risk. Thus, incorporating blockchain technology into the industry can assist in resolving the majority of persistent issues and ensuring a more prosperous and healthy community in the future.