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Blockchain Technology in Food Industry

25/July/2019

Introduction of first cryptocurrency bitcoin has changed the industry standard across the globe. Now people have started adopting new methodologies for improving their business productivity via integrating the technology- Blockchain.


While talking about blockchain in the supply chain, the innovation not only caters to the word ‘quality’, however, but also brings in new derivations of transparency and collaboration in the entire food system. To summarize, blockchain in food industry can be a vast stage with a lot of gains and adaptiveness, especially in terms of traceability, production, supply chain and also the prominent division- finance.


How blockchain can bring a greater transformation in the field of food production, its supply chain and finally to the end-users? 


One very good example in front of us is how Wal-Mart and IBM introduced a food traceability system using blockchain. Starting from the leafy green food supply chain,  Wal-Mart has introduced blockchain in speeding up,  identifying and researching on reacting with food safety situations. And they found out that the technology is so aggressive and fast that the research that could take 7-8 days now needed only 2.2 seconds.


Let's see how traceability can bring a faster and aggressive report on food production and supply.


Firstly, the system will provide a correct and time to time updated report to stakeholders from where a particular item came from, during what harvest, and from which means and from which farm. This will also allow the government to have a clear investigation of the items. With blockchain data, it is possible to find the source in a few seconds.


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By integrating much technology with blockchain,  it has paved the way to some innovative changes such as IoT (Internet of Things), like the AIS sensors used by Viant’s partners in Fiji. By introducing many new technologies with blockchain, it can assuredly bring a tremendous change. Introducing a decentralized and more transparent system, companies are able to provide data with a high degree of control and anonymity that may have universal acceptance. Since the data is cryptographically hashed, it gives error-free results, making the system very attractive.


Be it for the self-use or for customer purpose, it is mandatory that the companies before purchasing or investing in a subsequent product, go for a data check. One great applicability of blockchain in food industry is this data sharing feature. This can include basic things like the soil conditions, how the harvest going to affect, crops health and so on. Sharing of each minute data into blockchain could make the companies invest into a particular farm and make a choice for a good product. 


With immutable ledger technology data that has been brought together from multiple sources can facilitate data access for banks, retailers, insurance companies, suppliers, distributors, groceries shops, agriculture machine suppliers, NGOs, and government agencies. One major benefit of sharing so much information is the transparency in data related to the particular industry. 


In the food industry scenario, decentralized data will open doors for better funding of producers, especially farmers with small farms. This, in turn, will help the farmers to produce good quality seeds and other desires to showcase better production.


Capital Access seems to be a great barrier for smallholders of land and find it difficult to get money through traditional fund accumulate methods like loans. Lack of documents, history of credits, and other issues make it hard for the farmers to accumulate fund.


One great solution that can curb all these challenges is the introduction of tokens.


The ICO expanded as Initial Coin Offering,  will help to generate funds by introducing tokens. Many companies have already started introducing token sale for the farmers to make fund. Agrocoin is one among the example. The coin took birth in Mexico envisioning extension of support towards agribusinesses across the Americas.


Instant payment of the product and services from the companies and suppliers is still a matter of issue for the farmers. Payment in cryptocurrency is one solution for the farmers to get instant or same-day payment. The blockchain platform that is automated allows paying a fee that is a fraction of traditional payment transfer. This will lead to an increase in profitability for framers and everyone involved in the supply chain process. A good example of this is BitPesa,  a digital foreign exchange and payment system that leverages blockchain settlement which started in Kenya Nairobi in 2013.


As of 2019, food industry system has adopted blockchain technology only for their traceability, access and verify. This got implemented in the pilot state. More to come from many big industries, as many companies have already started exploring the open-source blockchain like EOS, Ethereum, Hyperledger for its supply chain and also payment transfer. By combining much other technology like IoT(Internet of Things), RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) it is aiming to serve a huge change in the food industry.