Blockchain Technology for Food Security

Sustainability problem:

Every year, hundreds of thousands of deaths are attributed to food contamination. Because a supply chain is extremely complex, it is lengthy and costly to identify the source of contamination, which leads to illness, food waste and costly financial losses.

Food traceability is, therefore, a crucial challenge to be tackled in working towards sustainable development and specifically SGD goal #2 – end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture.

Technology:

IBM has partnered with global companies Nestle, Unilever and Tyson Foods to integrate its block chain technology platform into their supply chains.

Blockchain technology allows transactions to be permanently recorded and easily traced within a business network. Groups of transactions are blocked together and, what IBM calls a ‘fingerprint’ of that block is then added to the next block. In addition, since no transaction can be altered without being recorded by the entire network, the data is secure and accurate.

In the context of food supply chain, Blockchain would allow to quickly and accurately follow the origin of goods. When cases of contamination arise, it would also allow to identify with certainty the origin of contaminated foods and track them while reducing other food wastes.

Stakeholders:

  • Farmers
  • Processors
  • Distributors
  • Retailers
  • Consumers
  • Governments
  • United Nations

Development/Implementation:

  • IBM must develop partnerships with companies interested in adopting the technology for their supply chain
  • Identify stakeholders in supply chain
  • Provide secure access to the platform to all stakeholders
  • Deploy trainings on technology

Sources:

https://www.ibm.com/blockchain/what-is-blockchain.html

https://www.greenbiz.com/article/unilever-nestle-and-other-food-giants-team-blockchain

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