Addressing the Pain Points of Food Industry by Implementing Blockchain in the Food Supply Chain

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.

Food Supply Chain Management

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.

Read More: How is BlockChain Contributing to the Efficient Management of Pharma Supply Chain

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.

Ensuring Efficient Implementation of CSR Activities with a Blockchain Based Solution

In the words of Winston Churchill “Responsibility is the Price of Greatness”

Firms and businesses have a similar responsibility, as well as commitment towards the social and economic development of their stakeholders, community and the society at large. In fact, the practice of CSR or Corporate Social Responsibility as a business model has evolved from being a slogan that was considered trendy by some firms to the current era where it has become more of a business requirement rather than just an option.

Today, businesses have realized the significance of having an appropriate CSR strategy in place to ensure better financial positioning, as well as, talent pool. However, not all businesses are transparent about their CSR initiatives, making it difficult to verify claims of social responsibility and sustainability. This aptly reflects the limitations of CSR programs and how their focus lies on improving the current capitalist system rather than transforming it.

Research conducted across the U.S reveal that 95.4 per cent of the raised charitable donations disappear into thin air before reaching their intended beneficiaries. This shocking statistic narrates a woeful tale of lost humanity in this sector and can be attributed to some key issues including lack of financial transparency, dependability, measurement & reporting, governance and more. This calls the urgent need for a robust mechanism that can address various hurdles faced by organizations during the implementation of CSR projects while ensure a more transparent system. And blockchain can exactly be the tool to achieve their objectives.

How Blockchain is Making CSR more Transparent?

Blockchain implementation with CSR

The terms “transparency”, “authenticity”, and “security” are closely linked within the scope of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Blockchain – A digital ledger technology can be leveraged to facilitate CSR projects while create a more transparent system out of the current capitalistic environment. Here’s how Blockchain can transform the humanitarian sector:

Provide Greater financial transparency: Given the fact that a major chunk of the charitable donations fails to reach the intended beneficiaries, organizations have failed to garner the much-required trust from the public. Blockchain – A decentralized technology has proved to be a great tool in ensuring greater financial transparency by allowing people to track where every dollar has gone. In fact, the presence of smart contracts will help people to track whether the funds are effectively spent and managed while reduce risk of mismanagement. In other words, people will be reassured that funds have reached the intended recipients.

Enable Transparent Communication: Blockchain allows all the stakeholders involved in CSR projects to access appropriate information at their own will and convenience. Smart contracts element of Blockchain enables transparent communication supported by digital contracts. By providing traceability of records all through the project life-cycle, this technology provides support in disclosures while facilitate access to philanthropists, regulatory bodies and investors.

Ensure Better Stakeholder Management: Stakeholder management is often a major challenge with organizations executing CSR projects. Often data isn’t available easily. Moreover, lack of standardized information, makes it extremely ineffective for analysis and measurement. Data management solutions powered by technologies such as blockchain and Big Data can play a significant role in reducing human errors while contribute to effective management of CSR projects.

Tracking Success of CSR Initiatives: Blockchain offers tracking and measurement solution that can hold the group responsible for their actions. With blockchain, it becomes possible to have an external verification of the internal implementation. This reliable proof or evidence of performance ensures that supervisory leaders remain accountable for everything. Since, programs and progress get verified and documented, CSR initiatives can grow way beyond potential of fake promises and ambiguous numbers.

Final Thoughts

To facilitate sustainable economic growth and build stronger communities, businesses require effective management of CSR projects. A robust system that can do away with the shortcomings of the conventional system is something what businesses require, to ensure trust and transparency in the system. By leveraging a blockchain based solution, businesses will be able to create a whole new ecosystem of smart humanitarianism. This will ensure that funds and benefits of different CSR activities reach intended recipients along with enhanced visibility for brands.

Sofocle Technologies – One of the leading players in the Blockchain space offers SofoChain Solution that can provide end-to-end traceability to monitor origin of products or record intangibles. This can provide businesses with a mechanism to provide authenticity to their social commitments. To know more about sofoChain solution, drop us an E-mail at [email protected] or Contact Us.

How is BlockChain Contributing to the Efficient Management of Pharma Supply Chain?

The Life Sciences or Pharmaceutical industry has been struggling to deal with the challenges related to drug counterfeiting and ineffective supply chain management. Apart from this, it is also combating the high cost of bringing new drugs to the market, along with new standards. As a result, preventing theft, counterfeiting and forgery, while minimizing cost and improving compliance has become the utmost priority for pharmaceutical and biotech companies. To remain competitive, businesses require adopting a game-changing technology that can resolve most, if not all the current issues associated with compliance and traceability.

Blockchain – A Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) is anticipated to be the silver bullet that is disrupting the supply chain industry, and aptly solves most, if not all the existing problems. Besides bringing control and enhanced visibility into the network for addressing issues pertaining to traceability and counterfeiting, the use of Smart Contracts helps automate various processes in the supply chain bringing cost efficiencies.

Given the complex pharmaceutical ecosystem, it becomes very difficult for anyone within the pharmaceutical supply chain to track products’ authenticity from start to finish. With a Blockchain solution in place, the much-needed trust between all the participants of the value chain i.e. pharma companies, manufacturers, trading partners, pharmacies, patients, would be secured. All this and more with the added benefit of supporting compliance with regulatory bodies into the mix. While the conventional tracking system has to an extent resolved the pain points, it still cannot ensure the security and integrity of data that has become a cause of concern, especially in the light of recent cyber security attacks.

Listed below are few benefits of introducing Block chain technology into the pharma supply chain:

Blockchain pharma supply chain

  • Combating Drug Counterfeiting: Drug counterfeiting has become a pressing issue both in terms of economic cost, as well as patient safety. By integrating Blockchain into the pharma supply chain, much required trust and transparency is established within the network. Such a platform allows tracking of pharmaceutical supplies to all the participants of the supply chain. So, while the stakeholders gain the power to maximize their efficiency during drug distribution, patients on the other hand can ensure their safety by verifying the drugs independently at every stage.
  • Ensuring Data Integrity: Blockchain technology allows distributed record keeping through its digital ledger. However, the data flowing in the chain is immutable as every new transaction is authenticated by network consensus. The transactions that are once authenticated by the consensus mechanism are practically tamper-proof and cannot be modified. This establishes high-level of data integrity, thereby making data secure, compliant and available for all the participants.
  • Improved Traceability: Keeping track of multiple transactions performed by a multitude of participants is one of the thorniest supply chain challenges. The sheer amount of data generated poses a challenge, even when some of the participants have automated systems to trace and then track the progression of drug through the supply chain.
    Blockchain ensures integrity of the supply chain through a closed ledger system that facilitates trusted exchange between the stakeholders, along with the benefit of audit trail that fulfills the evolving regulatory requirements.
  • Elevated Regulatory Compliance: Despite stringent regulatory policies, the challenges around ensuring ‘trustless’ compliance still exist in the pharmaceutical industry. By incorporating Blockchain, pharma supply chain pain points such as product counterfeiting, condition of drugs in transit, data security etc. can be curbed. The ‘smart contract’ element of the Blockchain defines terms and agreement that can help healthcare regulators and stakeholders ensure better compliance.

Blockchain has the potential to transform businesses by removing inefficiencies, speeding up transactions while enabling new and innovative business models. However, in the pharmaceutical industry, Blockchain supports wide range of functions, both within and outside the supply chain. But as of now, the drug supply chain tends to be the most appropriate candidate that stands to benefit the most from this ground-breaking technology. This would pave way for a drug supply system that is more efficient, secure and less expensive to function in.

Sofocle’s sofoChain solution provides end to end traceability using Blockchain along with Smart Contracts to manage promotions, payments, SLAs and contracts in the Pharma supply chain. To know more about sofoChain solution, drop us an E-mail at [email protected] or Contact Us.

A Complete Guide To Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG)

Although Bitcoin got introduced in the market in the year 2011, it was 2015 when it reached the popularity and identification. It was the same year when the underlying technology- Blockchain caught the attention of the experts and the revolution of exploiting its potential started. Before this, Blockchain got recognised as just another data structure supporting an emerging trend, but in reality, it encapsulated great technology and promises of a tech-driven future.

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Decoding Blockchain Cryptography

Till now most of the people across different verticals know what blockchain is and how it is one of the most innovative technologies that has the potential to disrupt various industries. Blockchains are immutable, and forge-proof making them the best platform for data related transactions. Blockchain also happens to be a platform that prevents a diverse range of frauds including identity theft, financial forgery, data thefts and more. While collecting all the necessary information about Blockchain and its functions, most of us misunderstand the mechanism behind such a tamper-proof nature of this incredible technology. The secret of Blockchain security and tamper proof nature is ‘Cryptography’.

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