On a cold November morning in 2012, agents of the U.S. FDA (Food and Drug Administration) paid a surprise visit to ‘Castle Cheese Inc’ – a cheese factory based out in rural Pennsylvania. The company that was till then known for selling 100 percent real parmesan to some of the most renowned grocery chains was found to use substitutes and fillers such as wood pulp in their product. What followed next was an untold story of fraud and deceit about a company that had been known for manufacturing and distributing safe, healthy and honest product for almost a century.
This and several other high-profile incidents of food fraud imply that food supply is under constant threat from counterfeiting, adulteration, contamination and growing regulatory pressure from regulatory bodies. Since, the current food tracking and registration models aren’t sophisticated enough to fulfill the growing supply chain requirements, businesses are under constant pressure to bring into place a robust system that could fill in the gaps left by the current system of trust.
A blockchain powered solution offers huge potential for safety and verification in the food industry as it does away with all the inefficiencies of the conventional systems. In fact, implementing Blockchain into the food supply chain would help businesses readily resolve all the supply chain pain points including transparency and traceability.
Blockchain technology – A decentralized ledger system has a significant impact on the food supply chain. Here’s how:
Improved Traceability: Blockchain provides every participant of the system with a clear view of the product in transit i.e. right from its origin (farm) till the end-users or grocery shelf. Moreover, the data or information that they receive is verified as the technology gathers consensus from all the participants of the network for data verification before distributing it across the network. Since, the data shared across the network is in a read only format, users receive only a verified history report of the product.
Increased Transparency: Since, Blockchain does away with the need for intermediaries, it offers a platform where transactions doesn’t need to be authorized by third party. Blockchain-enabled smart contract defines a set of rules that must be abided by all the participants (users and operators) alike. This enables increased transparency in the system.
Increased Food Safety: One of the significant benefits of blockchain includes providing all participants to data access. This in turn would augment the ability of consumers and officials to take appropriate action before any mishap occurs. Moreover, since, data integrity is assured in a blockchain enabled food supply chain, fraud prevention, adulteration and secure financial transaction can be assured.
The food supply chain is highly fragmented and complex. A blockchain powered supply chain solution besides ensuring improved traceability and data security, will encourage collaboration between supply chain links. Apart from this, it will also create new ways of regaining consumers’ trust while protect the food industry from being disgraced by other food scandals.
Sofocle Technologies – A leading player in the Blockchain arena offers sofoChain – A robust supply chain solution that can aptly address the pain points of food supply chain. To know more about sofoChain solution, drop us an E-mail at [email protected] or Contact Us.