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Impact of Blockchain Technology in Food Industry

Industry Application of the Technology: Blockchain in the Food Industry

Contents

  • Food industry and block chain technology
  • Two real word examples related to IT along with the comparison and contrast
    • Case 1: IBM’s Blockchain for supply chain
    • Case 2: World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Blockchain use
  • Comparison of the two cases
  • Innovative advantages and the limitations of block chain technology in food industry
  • References

Food Industry and Block Chain Technology

A block chain can be referred as an incessantly growing list of the records which are also called as blocks. The use of block chain in the secured and trusted commercial transactions can also be regarded as a particular factor for the diffusion of this technology. The food industry is also getting transformed by the use of the block chain technology. Food Industry and the associated issues in the food industry are regarded to be so much vital for the sustainability of the people around the whole world. People are becoming more aware about the quality of the food relating to the health and diet. The issues like supply, safety and also the sustainability are becoming increasingly important in food industry. (Tsvetkova, 2017) The block chain technology can be regarded to be so much important in boosting the proper Supply, safety and the sustainability considerations in food industry and it can also be regarded as a solution to many pressing challenges related to the food industry. Besides, the block chain technology can also be taken for granted as a very effective means to improve the Commerce and the overall quality of the health issues of the people.

Two real word examples related to IT along with the comparison and contrast

Case 1: IBM’s Blockchain for Supply Chain

IBM’s collaboration with the major food suppliers and retailers including Golden State Foods, Kroger, Unilever and Walmart brings together players through the food supply chain for the purpose of better tackling the challenges that can result from the lack of transparency. The food safety collaboration might also be able to enable network contributors to the exchange process of the data across an immutable network constructed on the Blockchain technology for the improved visibility and liability throughout the entire food supply chain.

Impact of Blockchain Technology in Food IndustryFigure: The IBM’s approach in using Blockchain in the supply chain

The proper digitalization of the products on Blockchain can easily reduce the amount of the paperwork in the supply chain and can also increase the entire accuracy of the records while cutting number of the invoice disputes and lowering total cost of procuring. Block chain can be defined as a very digitalized, decentralized and public ledger of all of the cryptocurrency transactions.  Each of the block usually contains cryptographic hash of the preceding block timestamp and also transaction data. The block chain is designed in such a way so that it is inherently resistant to the further modification of data. (Small, 2012) By means of using Blockchain technology, the food companies can easily optimize the administrative and also the business processes. The major sources of inefficiency in the food industry as far as the supply chains are concerned at the manual and the paper based processes which waste time, increase fraud risk and also make the management of inventory quite difficult. Traditionally, the participants in the food supply chain contact only with the people they used to deal with.

Case 2: World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Blockchain use

The World Wildlife Fund has been using the Blockchain technology for the purpose of better tracking the seafood in the supply chain. The consumers are also increasingly calling for the fully traceable Seafood which does not come from any illegal Fisheries are those which engage in the human rights abuse.

Figure: The WWF’s approach in using Blockchain technology

The wholesale and retail seafood buyers ask for the improvement in the transparency and also in the traceability for the purpose of reducing the risk of the brands being linked with the dubious and the legal activities. Properly layered into real time information coming from different electronic platforms the Blockchain technology can help to improve the unprecedented transparency and traceability in the supply chain which the retailers and also the consumers actually want.  (Farr, 1990) With the increased data visibility facility powered by the Blockchain technology, the participants in the supply chain of the food industry will have the traceability and also the transparency and all of these issues will help to increase the food safety in the supply chain process.

Comparison of the two cases

IBM has been using the Blockchain technology for the purpose of better tackling the challenges that can result from the lack of transparency in the entire supply chain management whereas the world wildlife fund has been using the Blockchain technology for the goal of better tracking the seafood in the supply chain. The both of the approaches of using the Blockchain technology by these two companies can be considered to be different but in fact, both of the issues are interlinked and quite complementary with each other.

Innovative Advantages and the Limitations of Block Chain Technology in Food Industry

The food borne diseases are regarded to be so much challenging issues for the Global Health status and in accordance to the World Health Organisation, one person in every 10 people fall sick every day from the food borne diseases in the whole world. The Blockchain technology can be helpful in maintaining the transparency in food supply chain which can also help to lead to the prevention of the food borne diseases. (Sarkis & Dou, 2018) The Blockchain technology can be used for the purpose of resolving the issues by bringing in transparency to the so-called complicated food supply chain by the establishment of the open environment where all of the transactions would be easily monitored and the necessary information on food products could easily be shared by the other participants in the supply chain including consumers, farmers etc. (Dos Santos, 2017) This facility can bring the optimistic view to the future of the food’s life cycle as it could help to easily detect the contamination or hazardous products and can help to remove those things quickly from the food supply chain. The quantity of information that can be processed through Blockchain technology is limited. Besides, there are certain sub food industries (agrifood arena, for example) which are filled with secrets and the implementation of the Blockchain technology in those Industries can be problematic for many of the food companies. (Mir, 2017) So it is important for the food companies to keep undertaking the research initiatives for ensuring the better application of the Blockchain technology in the industry to increase profitability and also the sustainability in this industry.

References;
  1. Dos Santos, R. (2017). On the Philosophy of Bitcoin/Blockchain Technology: Is it a Chaotic, Complex System?. Metaphilosophy48(5), 620-633. doi: 10.1111/meta.12266
  2. Farr, D. (1990). High pressure technology in the food industry. Trends In Food Science & Technology1, 14-16. doi: 10.1016/0924-2244(90)90004-i
  3. Mir, W. (2017). Necessity and Implementation of BlockChain Technology. International Journal Of Scientific Research And Management5(7). doi: 10.18535/ijsrm/v5i7.61
  4. Sarkis, J., & Dou, Y. (2018). Green supply chain management. New York, NY: Routledge.
  5. Small, M. (2012). Blockchain – risk and reward. Engineering & Technology Reference1(1). doi: 10.1049/etr.2016.0086
  6. Tsvetkova, L. (2017). PROSPECTS OF DEVELOPMENT OF BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGY IN RUSSIA: COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGES AND BARRIERS. The Economics Of Science3(4), 275-296. doi: 10.22394/2410-132x-2017-3-4-275-296

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