ZD Tech: When the blockchain traces the path of food from the field to the plate

Hello everyone and welcome to ZD Tech, ZDNet’s daily editorial podcast. My name is Clarisse Treilles and today I explain to you why blockchain is entering the food supply chain.

In recent years, companies have started to use blockchain technology to certify the origin of products sold in stores and ensure compliance with specifications at each stage of the supply chain.

Thus, certain initiatives have emerged, such as Carrefour, which certifies its own-brand organic products via the blockchain, or Danone, which also uses technology to trace the path of its infant milks.

Consumer confidence, more attentive to the quality and origin of the products they buy in stores, is growing. But that’s only the tip of the iceberg.

Distributed and transparent ledgers

We will see that this technology contributes above all to the economic, health and environmental challenges of the agri-food sector.

Producers and industrialists, far from controlling all the steps, see blockchain as a means of having a platform to control the compliance of food as it passes through the production chains.

On paper, the blockchain seems appropriate: it makes it possible to constitute transparent and distributed registers, in which useful information is recorded, in a verifiable and unalterable way.

Intervene on the chain

Unlike the more traditional use case of blockchain in the financial sector, the food blockchain tracks and authenticates the journey of a product intended for consumption. This means that the information which is introduced by the members of the consortium within the register is brought to stabilize and then to disappear in the long term.

Ultimately, from field to plate, the blockchain is particularly interesting for ensuring the sanitary compliance of food products. If a contamination is reported on a specific product, as it sometimes happens, the members of a consortium can detect at which level of the chain the contamination occurred to intervene more quickly.

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