The application of Blockchain technology seen as tool in food safety and ethical practices
Published Date | 2019 February 8
Retail giant Wal-Mart Stores, working with IBM to testing the foods by applications of blockchain technology will enhance transparency in supply chain of food industry and will also drive the global food safety testing market over forecast period.Global: The food industry is turning to utilize the applications of blockchains to strengthen food safety and inventory management by tracking meats and crops from farm to table. Working with IBM, retail giant Wal-Mart Stores is testing the technology system on mangos in the United States and pork in China. Blockchain, the underlying technology behind virtual currency bitcoin, is a digital system that allows counter parties to transact using individual codes for goods. The technology enables different parties in the supply chain to share details such as the date an animal was slaughtered or the weather conditions at harvest time. Data can be stored through a photograph on a smartphone that is transmitted onto a dedicated platform. The system also can also counter fraud and mistaken deliveries, champions of the technology say. The other great virtue of blockchain is enhanced transparency by letting consumers look up key information on where food comes from, an asset amid growing concerns about genetically-modified crops and artificial ingredients. That additional transparency also can help promote more desirable practices. Wal-Mart food safety vice-president, Frank Yiannas said: "I see a lot of potential to create what I call a digital and transparent food system." According to Vivek Yadav, analyst at BlueWeave Consulting, A blockchain, originally block chain, is a growing list of records, called blocks, which are linked using cryptography. Each block contains a cryptographic hash of the previous block, a timestamp, and transaction data. It is "an open, distributed ledger that can record transactions between two parties efficiently and in a verifiable and permanent way”. In food safety industry, blockchain technology will very helpful to improve food supply chain due to the nature of enterprise blockchain, being an open network, there is no scope for any malicious attempts to compromise the food supply chain. Furthermore, benefits of integrating blockchain for food safety is the ability to better track and view the status of food items. Also, using blockchain for food safety can ultimately help in getting rid of subsequent losses incurred due to consumption of contaminated and/or diseased products. According to BlueWeave consulting report, Titled-“Global Food Safety Testing Market By Target Tested (Pathogens, Pesticides, GMOs), By Technology (Traditional and Rapid), By Food Tested (Meat & Poultry, Seafood, and Fruits & Vegetables) and By Region (North America, Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, MEA), Size and Forecast, 2018-2025”- The Global Food Safety Testing Market is expected to grow with a CAGR of over 7.5% during the forecast period 2018-2025 due to the growing incidences of food-borne illnesses and poisoning by contaminated food products. In addition, growing consumer awareness regarding safety of food has also been driving the market for food safety testing. Moreover, the market is further growing because of changing food habits, mass catering, and globalization of the food supply. Also, Implementation of various regulations on food safety, particularly by governments of developed country, drives the growth of the global food safety testing market.