The popularity of blockchain technology has reached new heights. We have already seen the use of blockchain in various fields such as aerospace, music, sports, education, election voting, healthcare, telecom, gaming, and banking. Blockchain technology could transform the entire food industry, by increasing efficiency, transparency and collaboration throughout the food system. The blockchain technology is a shared, distributed ledger of transactions over a decentralized peer-to-peer network. Blockchain in the food industry will track the source of various food items starting from the farm. To understand how blockchain will help in food industry let us see what are the problems that plague the food industry:
Problems in the Food Industry
Diseases by contaminated food are a concern not just for people but also for the government. Although the government addresses this problem, it is the food companies who should be concerned about this issue. As the globalization of food trade and distribution increases, the chances of contamination in the supply chain are numerous.
Mass foodborne illness outbreak has the power to destroy the reputation of big companies. It takes forever to earn the trust back from people that there’s no longer any threat. Consumers expect suppliers to be reliable and responsible suppliers.
One of the most common and dangerous public health problem caused by contaminated food is food poisoning. It is a constant challenge for consumers, researchers, governments and the food industry. The infected ones suffer from nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. In some cases, they can also develop a serious acute illness or long-term health problems. The reason behind food poisoning can be undercooked meat, unwashed vegetables or improper handling of food. The distribution of such food spreads the pathogens and tracing the source becomes difficult.
How Will Blockchain Help Find a Solution?
It might take weeks just to identify contaminated food, its origin shipment and finally, its vendor. In the process, the number of consumers getting sick might increase.
The blockchain solution is built on a distributed ledger technology. It provides a shared, digital view of transaction data available to all participants in the network. The product information comes with food items digitally. The blockchain network records it at every step of the process creating a trusted system of record. Therefore, the technology can track the origin of goods as they pass from one organization to the next. In the end, each piece of information serves as a critical data point. The data point can reveal food safety issues with the product.
The supply chain transparency will improve with the application of blockchain solution. With this, everyone in the supply chain can access all the information about the food. Thus, food providers can trace contaminated products quickly and remove them from the store. The potential for improved traceability by way of increased transparency will prove invaluable in finding solutions among the issues in food traceability.