Blockchain technology is a very transparent tracking tech that companies are now trying to utilize to keep track of food or transactions in the energy sector.
In fact, this new technology is causing a stir in the industry especially in financial markets as it is the leading technology behind the popular bitcoin and digital-ledger systems. It has reached a point where blockchain technology is being tested in other areas and various industries.
What is BlockChain?
Blockchain is a cloud-based ledger which records the transactions done using an encryption process so as to ensure that the data is secure. However, it still allows a vast network of users to inspect and verify the data.
What makes this tech interesting is how it approaches security. There are many benefits of blockchain across industries. Its biggest strength lies in the fact that once the data is written and stored, it can’t be changed unless a majority of the participating machines agree to the change being done.
The agricultural and farming sector has already begun tapping into the possibilities. The Ukrainian government for example, is planning to use the tech to manage its crop land registry. This will help greatly as the current system is actually very susceptible to fraud which causes a lot of ownership disputes.
Possibilities for the Food Industry
Here are some very concrete applications of blockchain in the food industry:
- Blockchain can give consumers access to information about the meat they buy. QR codes which can be read by a smartphone can include data such as when the animal was born, whether it was injected with antibiotics, the vaccines it received, and where it grazed.
- Blockchain will help the food supply chain become more transparent and help it become more responsive to food safety disasters. Nestlé and Unilever, two of the largest production companies in the world, are testing blockchain for this purpose. Additionally, Walmart, has completed a traceback test on mangoes to determine which farm it came from. The manual test took six days, 18 hours, and 26 minutes. Blockchain can deliver that info in 2.2 seconds. The company has already completed to blockchain projects for its chain of stores.
- Blockchain can significantly minimize food waste. The technology can trace contaminated products quickly and identify which products belong to a certain batch of deliveries. In case of product recall, only the contaminated ones will be pulled off the shelves and destroyed. The safe ones will remain on the shelves.
- Blockchain can help prevent fraud. This presupposes that the information in the database is accurate, but blockchain offers immense possibility in preventing food fraud. According to the Michigan State University, some $40 billion annually is lost due to fake ingredients and products. The tech facilitates the exchange of data between separate players in the food chain, and can trace individual suppliers who are knowingly or unwittingly selling fake food products.
- Blockchain can help farmers earn more. Think of it as uber for farmers. The technology can help farmers and produce suppliers get paid more quickly and directly by people who buy from them. It can also stabilize prices during lean or peak months for a certain item. Indirectly, this can also give farmers a second income source – selling to peers or marketing their items only for direct orders. This will not only allow consumers to buy items at lower prices, it also helps them get the produce fresh from the farm.
Various industries are exploring the countless applications of blockchain technology. This bold idea can revolutionize markets and improve processes once seen as tedious and prone to human error. In the food industry, where people’s health and lives are at stake, it pays to be 100% certain of where the food came from and how it was made. Blockchain is slowly helping achieve that.