Block (supply)chain for Food Safety

“What the internet did for communications, blockchain will do for trusted transactions.”

— Ginni Rometty


BLOCKCHAIN – A BUZZ WORD AND A BURNING HOT TOPIC offers profound benefits for supply chain management and various other processes in almost every business sector. Especially for Food safety and security supply chain process, Blockchain provides impressive advantages such as transparency, immutability, traceability, better management of product shelf-life, and rapid determination of the cause of a foodborne illness outbreak or food fraud. In existing food system, the stakeholders/participants in the supply chain usually operates in silos. Not a single end-to-end view of the food delivery prevail, making it challenging to handle safety issues within supply chain creating costly delays. Today’s supply chains have an inherent weakness: individual parties are using disparate digital systems, different technologies, and paper-based processes to bridge the gaps. This makes it inefficient to share the critical data that drives supply chain interactions, or to guarantee a high degree of rigor and accuracy.

Blockchain-infused traceability systems could deliver the transparency and trust that has eluded the food industry until now. With immutable data, it has the potential to give growers, suppliers, processors, distributors, retailers, regulators and consumers access to reliable information on the origin and state of food ( Blockchain will assist restore the trust which is dwindling in Food industry.

While the U.S. government was late to embrace Blockchain and cloud computing due to challenges with deciphering the model, lack of suitable procurement options and slow adoption, it appears to be engaging actively with the potential use of blockchain technology.

Several federal agencies and local governments engage in pilot projects, including the FDA and CDC, both of which are exploring how it can be used to improve public health. There is an opportunity for the U.S. government to do more in a few important key areas.

  • Coca-Cola, U.S. State Dept to use blockchain to combat forced labor (March 16, 2018).
  • The Congressional Blockchain Caucus has already begun assessing policy and regulation related to different blockchain use cases (February 14, 2018).
  • The Food & Drug Administration issued a “Source sought” notice for an application of blockchain (2017).

Nonetheless, the Blockchain for supply chain in Food industry is still in infancy and is constantly evolving. A lot of research is being conducted in this area. More and more companies are offering platform and services to host Blockchain data and processes. Yet there is a SUBSTANTIAL global need to properly convey research and knowledge to the interested stakeholders including farmers, traders, suppliers, corporations, government, and consumers.

What makes corporations tick/motivated to embrace Block (supply)chain for Food Safety?


Premal Bhatt

GBA Food Supplychain

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