Implementing Blockchain in the food supply chain provides a myriad of benefits. Most can be categorized into positive impact on your product integrity and safety, as well as return-on-investment and sustainability. Here are our top 15:
Full visibility across the entire food supply chain. Today's supply chains are incredibly complex. They include 15-20 hand-off points, and each has its own contamination potential and spoilage-causing conditions. However, current paper-based tracking ("one up, one back") isn't sufficient anymore with the ever-increasing number of food safety incidents, recalls, and fraud. Full visibility across the entire supply chain is paramount — and blockchain can provide it.
Instant updates about environmental discrepancies. Traditionally, once a product leaves your hands, you lose control over how it is stored and transported. But by combining blockchain with smart sensors, like Chainvu's Intelligent Sensors, you are able to keep tabs on environmental factors that could compromise the safety, quality, and integrity of your product, such as temperature, humidity, light, pressure, and more. Should an exception be detected, you (and all other members of that supply chain blockchain) will receive an alert right away.
Notifications if goods move outside of predefined zones or experience shocks. Just as with environmental factors, blockchain solutions using location, motion, and shock sensors can alert you if your product is being moved outside a predefined zone, loaded onto a truck, or was exposed to potentially damaging shock.
Pinpoint spoilage potential right away. We all know that spoilage is a process, and depending on your products, you will need to maintain specific conditions to minimize rotting, bacteria growth and other processes causing spoilage. If your product has been exposed to potentially hazardous conditions, e.g., temperatures higher than 40F for too long, you can pinpoint potential food safety incidents immediately and act accordingly.
Ensure food safety, integrity & quality. If you have constantly monitored your products from farm to fork and few, minor, or no exceptions have been detected, you can be confident that your products are safe to consume and have maintained optimal integrity and quality standards. This is especially important as it increases trust among supply chain partners but also with consumers.
Food safety compliance & audit trail. Complying with food safety regulations and providing a complete audit trail is something the food industry has struggled with in the past as there were no adequate systems to provide this level of insight across the entire supply chain. With blockchain, this becomes a complete no-brainer as regulatory bodies are simply made a member of the blockchain, providing them with the same complete and immutable audit trail.
Identify & trace back contaminated goods in seconds. Because all records are being stored in the blockchain, visible to all members, trace-backs can be done in a matter of seconds, rather than days or weeks. This enables you to quickly and easily identify potentially contaminated goods in case of a recall.
Reduces labor across the entire food supply chain. Filling out paper check lists isn't only boring, tedious, and unreliable, it also takes labor to create, maintain, store, and search records. With blockchain, all transactions are available with a click of a button — significantly reducing the amount of resources and time required.
Allows you to execute smart contracts automatically. Smart contracts are financial transactions automatically executed if all parameters of the contractual agreement between parties have been fulfilled, e.g., a retailer can automatically expect a shipment of raw chicken without lengthy inspections and costly disputed bills of lading knowing that the chicken arrived safely. This saves not only time, but also resources and money.
Enables you to trace food safety incidents fast and efficiently. Food safety recalls cost businesses billions of dollars every year — with the vast majority of direct costs attributed to the retrieval and disposal of potentially contaminated goods. With 100% traceability in the blockchain, you can trace any product within seconds.
Reduces food waste. By tracking and monitoring all goods in your supply chain, you know which products are safe and which aren't. This drastically reduces the amount of food wasted in case of a recall, as only contaminated products are thrown out. In addition, the constant tracking and monitoring also results in less food waste as the supply chain becomes more efficient.
Enhances your brand's sustainability. Less food waste and spoilage means less food has to be produced and trucked around. That is not only cost effective, but also has a huge impact on the sustainability and carbon footprint of your company. Being able to prove that will lead to less price sensitivity (as millennials are willing to pay more for sustainable products) and other competitive advantages.
Satisfies your customers' demands for traceability. More and more consumers are becoming aware of the impact of their food choices. They demand cleaner, healthier, and better-tasting foods — and while they are willing to pay a higher price for that, they also require proof for the marketing claims. For example, your consumers want to trace back their steak to the cattle farm in Texas that only raises grass-fed Angus Beef.
Improves your brand integrity and reliability. Improving the visibility, transparency, and traceability across your supply chain has many benefits, but maybe one of the most important is that it directly correlates with your brand's integrity and reliability. This directly influences consumer trust and loyalty.
Rapidly generates a positive Return-on-Investment. Last, but not least, implementing blockchain in the food supply chain can have great implications on your bottom line — not only by avoiding costly recalls, but also by letting you build a brand that better aligns with your consumers' demands for sustainability, traceability, and provenance.