Applications Of Blockchain Platform In Agri-Food Supply Chains
Progressive Grocer|May 2018

Blockchain technology has the potential to make every transaction in the agri-supply chain transparent, traceable, and verifiable without any third-party oversight.

Dr. Sheetal Menon

If you have heard of the trending buzzword ‘blockchain’, I am sure your thoughts would have been intuitively directed to bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. As a distributed and collective public ledger system, blockchain is perhaps most often associated with fin-tech. But what if you were told this technology has the potential to make every transaction in the agri-supply chain transparent, traceable, and verifiable without any third-party oversight? Let us take a look at the following scenarios:

In 2017, a multi-state Salmonella outbreak infected over 220 people in the US, linked to the imported Maradol papayas from Mexico. The Centre for Disease Control (CDC) along with the FDA conducted DNA fingerprinting of samples from patients to trace the source of contamination. This news received much attention, not just from a food safety point-of-view, but more importantly for traceability, mitigation, and containment of contamination.

In the year 2015, a multinational food and beverage company had to recall over 38,000 tonnes of noodles from the market due to presence of certain avoidable ingredients in their product. The brand value took a hit in market share (from 80% to 60%), spending over $70 million in recalls, with lost sales of over $277 million.

In 2013, the horse meat scandal exposed food labeling fraud in the UK, wherein burgers and ready meals on sale by leading retailers and fast food outlets contained traces of undeclared horse meat instead of processed beef.

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