Blockchain Transforming the Food Industry

How Blockchain Could Transform the Food Industry

Blockchain is a technology that was first created to aid the use of Bitcoin, a digital currency that has gained significant publicity in recent years. However, once blockchain technology began to take off it soon became clear that the technology can be used for far more than just digital currency transactions.
One of the perks of blockchain is that it creates a reliable and immutable record of transactions, making the entire process a lot more transparent and traceable. Not only is this ideal for fraud prevention, but it also enables organisations to keep a closer check on their operations and improve efficiency levels.

What Exactly is Blockchain?

Blockchain can be a difficult concept to describe to those unfamiliar with the finer points of technology. Essentially, blockchain is a type of database which keeps a record of transactions, but there are a few unique qualities which sets it apart from a regular database.
Perhaps most importantly is that it cannot be tampered with as it is not under exclusive control of any centralised entity. As each new transaction or “block” is created, it is added to the existing database as a whole to create a “chain” of transactions which are together as part of a larger ledger. 

How Blockchain Could be Relevant to the Food Industry

Unfortunately, with any mammoth industry, like the food industry, a lot of wealth and productivity is lost to fraud. This is something which blockchain could have an incredibly positive impact on. Increased transparency and access to important information is also something that can help organisations streamline their supply and manufacturing process to boost efficiency.

Preventing fraud in the Food Industry 

Any process with limited transparency is vulnerable to fraud as illegal transactions can go unnoticed. By creating a unified database immune to tampering, blockchain can ensure that all transactions are above-board and traceable to minimise fraud. It is estimated that fraud in the food industry costs consumers as much as £30 billion each year, so minimising the impact of fraud will help both companies and their customers.

Supply Chain Management

Keeping track of the huge number of transactions taking place within a supply chain can be difficult even for a smaller company let alone a multinational one. As well as this, transparency within the supply chain process is equally important not just for fraud prevention but also for the safety of consumers. What blockchain does is enable all parties to view the transaction history from start to finish, so there are no unknown quantities in the supply chain. 

Increasing Consumer Confidence

A fair few scandals have hit the food industry in recent years which reduces overall confidence in the industry. Products have been tainted due to supply chain issues which is something blockchain can help rectify. The assurance of knowing that suppliers and manufacturers have a transparent and reliable record of all transactions undoubtedly improves public confidence in the food industry. 

Faster Information Processing

In a world that is still in the process of moving from paper records to digital ones, even with existing digital systems it can still take a lot of time to trace the history of a product or material. 

Blockchain has the potential to drastically speed up access to information like product origin, expiration date, and processing methods compared to outdated methods still in use today and improve safety and efficiency levels considerably.

Posted on 05/06/2018