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New Normal, Digital Transformation, Industry 4.0

Trust | Transparency | Traceability

Traceability and Food safety

30 June 2021   |    Blockchain, Emerging Tech, Supply Chain, Traceability

Blockchain technology has been tagged as the premier solution to the lack of transparency and accountability within the food supply chain. Its implementation aims to create trust amongst the parties doing business and the consumers who utilize the Brand. Recently Studies and Research suggest that, although 90 % of consumers across the age groups read food labels, the majority (81 %) looked only for the manufacturing date or expiry/best before date. Of those who read labels, only a third checked nutrition information and ingredients. Nutrient information on labels not often read because most consumers either lacked nutrition knowledge or found the information too technical to understand. Based on comparing products within similar food categories, the Australian-based Health Star Rating system surprisingly found out that 60% of Nestle’s products do not cut into this list (i.e., a rating of 3.5 or less is deemed unhealthy).

Point of Deliberation: Therefore, the intention of promoting healthy food choices through food labels not met. Since most people found it challenging to comprehend nutrition information, there is a need to take up awareness activities and introduce new forms of labelling (maybe with some integration with emerging technology). Recent studies have also found that Indian manufacturers routinely get away by pushing unhealthy alternatives on unsuspecting consumers. Therefore, manufacturers should provide requisite important information to rebuild trust (within this disarray of information) amongst consumers through a new layer of validation, certainty, and credibility.

Need of the Hour: During the present time of disbelief and mistrust, giving consumers access to more information (with an integration of an additional layer of security such as Blockchain technology) via QR codes on individual packages can be the only solution. Undoubtedly a win-win situation for all stakeholders.

Shoppers/Consumers, through its use, would be able to trace the food to the source, and also (on the other hand) it would provide food manufacturers and growers a way to interface with their end consumers. These would undoubtedly deliver societal benefits (in terms of safety) on a larger scale and derive marketing benefits for each of the brands/stakeholders involved in the entire process.

New Layer of Security: QR codes (at present) have become an indispensable part/norm of our new contactless world. With blockchain technology would help deliver strong content narratives on its produce and social impact. Along with traceability, validity with vital records helps to regain trust between the consumers.

TRST01 Solutions: TRST01 blockchain technology platform, through the creation and utilization of a combination of emerging technologies as IoT, ML, and AI, enables a fully transparent food supply chain. TRST01 Platform Integration and Deployment features

FOOD SAFETY AT THE CORE IS NOTHING BUT A DATA ISSUE

If every stakeholder has the correct data and a way to share it with others in the value chain, many unsafe and contaminated products can be removed from the system. Blockchain is an essential element in this scenario as its characteristics make it a suitable tool to enable interoperability between various stakeholders. The communication of a product’s origin from farm to fork through consumers is also key to addressing food safety concerns. Essentially, blockchain helps track the food items in the entire supply chain by unique identifiers such as Barcodes or QR, RFID . Compared to all the currently available emerging technologies, blockchain easily integrated within the whole supply chain by keeping the costs low and safekeeping an entire chain of custody of data.

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