Tackling Supply Chain Issues and Food Fraud with Blockchain Technology

10 January 2022
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According to a report by World Food Program, received via KPMG, nearly 821 million people go to bed on an empty stomach. Another report by UN’s Food & Agriculture Organization states that almost 14 percent of the world’s food is lost even before reaching the retail level.

What are the major reasons behind such a huge amount of food wastage and ultimately food hunger? Inefficiency in the supply chain is one of the major reasons.

Even though each one of us wants to achieve the sustainable goals of food security and sustainable development, but how is this possible? Here is where technologies such as Blockchain, AI, and IoT can help the most. Let’s have a look at how and why Blockchain technology is being regarded as the no. 1 technology for all the supply chain inefficiencies.

Image source: Why Does The Food & Beverage Supply Chain Need Blockchain Technology? | by TokenAsia Platform | TokenAsia Platform | Medium

According to a report from IDC, companies worldwide spend more than USD 2 billion on Blockchain technologies in the year 2018, and the numbers are estimated to rocket around 10 billion USD by the end of the year 2021.

Blockchain is a secure database that records a product’s journey and ensures everything stored on the ledger is immutable. Due to the tamper-proof nature of Blockchain, this technology is being popular these days.

Needless to mention, the technology has the potential to transform several other industries, food & beverage is the one. Moving forward, let’s look at the current state of food supply chains and how Blockchain can help tackle inefficiencies in the same:

The Current State of Food Supply Chains

Information is the lifeblood of business. The faster and more accurate it is received, the better. Because it delivers immediate, shareable, and entirely transparent information kept on an immutable ledger that can only be viewed by permissioned network users, blockchain is excellent for food and beverage technology.

Here is a list of a few inefficiencies that exist in the traditional supply chain process:

1. Food fraud

According to a report by NSF, food fraud accounts for approximately $49 billion globally each year. The most affected categories in this include dairy products, tea and coffee, fruit juices, olive oil, and maple syrup. One such biggest example of food fraud is when in 2008 a milk fraud occurred in China which lead to the death of six infants due to infected milk, and more than 50,000 children were hospitalized.

2. Illegal Food Production

Illegal food production is one of the biggest issues that traditional supply chains face these days. Talking about illegal sources of food, seafood is one of the most popular categories of the same. Marine Policy reported that around 2.15 million tons of wild seafood imported in Japan were of unknown origin.

3. Economic losses due to inefficient supply chain

Image Source: How Blockchain Could Transform The Way You Buy Your Groceries (cbinsights.com)

All the issues originating from an inefficient supply chain lead to economic losses. Food recalls done by government agencies such as FDA or USDA can cost up to $10 million, according to a survey conducted by Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA).

Apart from the above-mentioned, there are various other issues such as inventory management and transparency issues, but the silver lining here is that Blockchain app development technology can help overcome the majority of issues by providing innovative solutions.

Tackling Supply Chain Fraud with Blockchain

By using this technology, McCarthy explains that the producer can include as much or as little information as regulatory possible. Orders, accounts, production, and much more can be tracked using a blockchain network. You can see all facts of a transaction fr0m a single view of the truth, providing you greater confidence as well as additional efficiencies and opportunities.

Image Source: Blockchain In Agriculture and Food Supply Chain Global Market Report 2021: COVID-19 Growth and Change (researchandmarkets.com)

  • Ending the inefficiency

In the industrialized world, supply chains are becoming more and more complex. Food losses occurring due to food wastage in the supply chain lead to bigger issues such as global food loss and much more. There are several ways to tackle the inefficiencies in the supply chains, to make the food secure and reap the benefits.

By integrating Blockchain-based technologies one can ensure affordability and availability of legally sourced food by tracing the supply chain right from the beginning to the retail.

  • Fighting the food loss

Using the data obtained from consumer behavior and agriculture science, advanced technologies such as Blockchain can help in provenance tracking. With a system backed up by efficient technologies such as these, we can predict and pre-empt the freshness of food from field to other supply chain processes. Moreover, we can match the supply chain demand to avoid the mismatch that further leads to food loss.

Food software based on Blockchain technology provides a decentralized platform to enhance traceability and gain valuable data on raw ingredients. ‘Fairfood’ uses Blockchain techn0logy to trace food items to their source, enabling farmers to gain better prices and employs better wages. The technology also enhances billing transparency with the help of transaction of transparency and expediting the flow of capital and maintaining security.

Hence, the future of a sustainable supply chain lies in the fact how we optimize our supply chains. Adopting new technologies outweighs the time and effort required to make the supply chain systems fully functional. To ensure a smooth process, F&B companies should work with the right solution providers and integrate new technologies into the supply chain.

We know that without supply chain transparency, traceability, and hence food insecurity is practically impossible. At Debut Infotech, we work diligently towards the SaaS-based Blockchain-based supply chain solutions to provide the right expertise and guidance to ensure traceability and food safety through the food supply chain.

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Debut Infotech A Top-Rated Web, Mobile, & Blockchain App Development Company

Debut Infotech is a global mobile app and digital product development company that leverages Blockchain, IoT, AI, and other cutting-edge technologies to help SMEs, startups, and global enterprises harness the incredible power of modern digital products to drive their online businesses to unwavering new heights. 

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