Nowadays, there has been an increase in the demand for traceability and visibility in the entire process of food production. This includes every step starting from sourcing to manufacturing as well as the distribution of these food products. As a result of this, the food chain has become increasingly complex and that has resulted in more cautious steps being taken by consumers.
According to reliable statistics, more than 60% of consumers are willing and ready to pay close to 36% more for food products that are from a transparent source and responsibly made. To deal properly with the challenges presented by this increasing complexity and globalization of the food chain, we will have to look towards the direction of technology. Technology has been changing the way humans live for quite some time now and also how we get information. However, not much is talked about how much it is reshaping our accessibility to and management of food.
The Effect of IBM Blockchain on Food Supply
Blockchain technology has been established to have the potential to change the dynamics of the food supply chain for the better. From manufacturers, food handlers among others, every group of persons involved in the food supply process is now being forced to reply to the pressure from consumers around sourcing transparency and the entire supply process. However, blockchain technology has proven to be revolutionary in this regard.
According to the VP at IBM Blockchain Solutions, Ramesh Gopinath in his speech at the Future Food Summit held recently in London, there has been a launch of the IBM Food Trust Platform, and it is now available commercially.
We have a large amount of logistics firms, retailers as well as growers that are now working with the blockchain technology developed by IBM known as the IBM Food Trust blockchain network. This means the technology can now be used to enhance the traceability of some food products in the supply chain. The cloud network allows food industry providers and businesses to use data from throughout the food ecosystem. This will then make it easy to determine how traceable, efficient and transparent certain food products are.
We all know that blockchain technology in general the is not a new thing. It has been around for quite a while now. For more than ten years, we have been hearing about blockchain technology and this owes mostly to cryptocurrency transactions among various unknown parties.
However, IBM's Food Trust Platform is the first notable and effective attempt at using it to help revolutionize the food supply chain. This means that retailers, suppliers, and consumers involved in the food supply process and management can now view and also share data relating to goods through the help of a private blockchain. They can share with parties that they know and find trustworthy.
Cryptocurrency platforms are centered around the idea of enabling trust and transactions when the possibilities involved are largely unknown, then it follows as well that IBM Food Trust blockchain emanated from the idea that trust and visibility can be enabled throughout the food supply chain if we can create a haven where companies aren't worried about sharing trusted food data.
It should be noted that the Food Trust Platform wasn't built by IBM alone. The cooperation of global food companies was needed to make it a success. Also, the design is such that allows insights and data to remain with the respective organizations. In the distributed system, all the data doesn't belong to any company. Rather, a company only owns its data and the insights derived from such data.
Food safety and food fraud
One of the notable ways that the IBM Blockchain technology helps to revolutionize the food supply chain is by ensuring food safety. Once there is food safety, then it is inevitable that there will be an increase in the amount of trust that consumers put in the whole food supply process. It becomes easier to identify contaminated food products, where they are and also warn buyers from purchasing them.
Lastly, IBM helps to deal with food fraud in the food supply chain. There are lots of mislabeled products on the black market today and this presents a real issue to every player involved in the supply chain. However, the IBM Blockchain technology also helps to deal with this effectively.