The Next Industry To Be Revolutionised by Blockchain - The Food Industry

Blockchain in food supply chain; Image Source: Pixabay

Blockchain in food supply chain; Image Source: Pixabay

Blockchain and smart contracts now allow transparent end-to-end transactions in the global food supply chain. Retailers, suppliers and manufacturers can now directly connect to consumers and significantly reduce costs in the process. Given the complexity of the food supply chain from producer to consumer, there is a huge opportunity for blockchain technology to improve the efficiency of this process. Blockchain can provide a better experience for end consumers due to its transparency and traceability.

 

Blockchain provides the tools and framework to create a new generation of marketplaces where supply and demand sides can engage in trusted transactions, according to the business rules, without the need for central brokerage entities. Blockchain tech companies are now focusing on the supply chain market to revolutionise the whole process using smart contract templates that will simplify the sales mechanism.

 

Here are some of the leading tech companies working on revolutionising the grocery and food supply chain:

 

  1. INS

A scalable blockchain-based platform that enables consumers to buy groceries directly from the manufacturers at lower prices. The INS ecosystem is validated by consumer interest and received strong support from the manufacturers. Global retailers have acquired a dominant market share which has led to an increase in their influence over manufacturers and consumers.

INS - Consumer Ecosystem; Image Source: INS

INS - Consumer Ecosystem; Image Source: INS

 

INS is the only global decentralized online manufacturer-to-consumer platform, enabling consumers to purchase directly from the manufacturer by completely removing the intermediation of retailers. The decentralised consumer ecosystem depends on a self-regulating community of consumers and manufacturers.

 

INS also provides a loyalty program that rewards its customers using INS tokens. By cutting third-party retailers, INS can effectively cut the cost by 20-30% compared to high-end retailers. All the manufacturers will be able to list and sell products directly to consumers, gain customer feedback and reward loyal customers.

 

2.Food Consortium & IBM Collaboration

Recently, it was reported that a group of leading companies across the global food supply chain announced a major blockchain collaboration with IBM. The consortium includes Dole, Driscoll’s, Golden State Foods, Kroger, McCormick and Company, McLane Company, Nestlé, Tyson Foods, Unilever and Walmart, who will work with IBM to identify new areas where the global supply chain can benefit from blockchain.

They are working on ways to implement blockchain to migrate all the complexities of the food world into one organised system. This is a great leap and improvement in the existing ecosystem where most farmers, processors and distributors still rely on paper for documentation.

 

IBM uses blockchain for food supply chain solution; Image Source: Pixabay

IBM uses blockchain for food supply chain solution; Image Source: Pixabay

Walmart has been implementing blockchain technology to improve its customers’ experience and provide consumers with the best price. This system will not only help retailers to reduce their costs but will also enable the swift removal of contaminated products from shelves and restocking when necessary.

 

3. Ripe

Ripe is another startup focusing on using blockchain to bring solutions to the food ecosystem. It is transforming the fresh produce food supply chain by enabling data transparency and transfer from farm to consumers. They help automate businesses by setting up rules, providing recommendations, and providing analytics that helps with easier maintenance of shelf life.

Ripe.io track crops produce and shelf life; Image Source: Pixabay

Ripe.io track crops produce and shelf life; Image Source: Pixabay

 

The company uses blockchain to track crops, providing farmers with better information and yielding higher-quality produce for consumer transparency. Ripe’s technology helped track 200 tomatoes on 20 different plants and their sensors recorded environmental factors including light, humidity and air temperature. These are valuable metrics that provide farmers with valuable statistics to improve their produce quality.

 

Blockchain has a key role to play in supporting the focus on these markets. The reliability of blockchain technology with its shared ledger and immutable data architecture, coupled with its ability to run smart contracts, enables it to truly revolutionize the food supply chain.


 

With major blockchain enterprises and startups investing their resources in food supply chain, there are significant changes developing that will revolutionize the food supply industry. Here are some quick highlights on the benefits that will affect the industry as a whole:

 

  • Efficiency - With smart contract templates, farmers will be able to streamline the whole process of getting their produce from farms to shelves quicker. This process can then be revised and optimised for efficiency.

  • Transparency - With Blockchain’s transparent end-to-end transactions, both farmers and consumers have higher visibility of relevant produce details made available via smart labels.

  • Safety Monitoring - Using automated smart contracts, it will be easy to monitor and maintain food safety standards. For example, an expired batch of produce can be automated to be recalled after a set time of expiry.

  • Cost reduction - By removing unnecessary third parties, distributors and middlemen, the cost of the produce can be significantly reduced for the end consumers. Food fraud alone is estimated to cost around US$30-40 billion every year. A blockchain database will significantly reduce the cost of produce by eliminating waste, spoilage and fraud.

  • Trust - Due to the immutable nature of blockchain, both manufacturers and consumers can rest easy knowing that the data like price and listing of the produce is incorruptible. This increases the trustability and loyalty among consumers.

 

The global grocery market is set to reach US$8.5 trillion, according to a new report by Persistence Market Research. Blockchain is set to play a major role in its development by simplifying and streamlining processes.