Blockchain: The latest agtech solution to supply chain issues
There are challenges associated with the agri-food supply chain that can be addressed by implementing blockchain technology. These range from consumer demand for more information and greater transparency around the food they buy, to record keeping and food integrity issues; this promising new technology may hold the answer.
The Agri-food supply chain
The global agri-food supply chain is an inherently complex system, evolving since the age of hunter-gatherers through primitive agriculture. Today it is a globalised system comprised of many moving parts that make it ever-more complicated. For perspective, the European Commission predicted that by 2015 approximately 12 million farms would harvest agricultural products to be processed by 300,000 enterprises in the food and beverage industry.
These products would then be sold to 2.8 million enterprises within the food distribution and service industry to feed 500 million consumers within the European Union.
With such an intricate journey for food to reach our plates, information management problems within the supply chain are all too familiar. Growing population and increasingly sophisticated consumers are, five years after that prediction, making the need for the tech more acute.
Typical concerns faced by actors in the supply chain include a lack of coordination due, for example, to individualistic mindsets, biased opinions and a lack of transparency, leading to food security issues like the well-publicised horsemeat scandal of 2013.
A study carried out by Chopra in 2007 shows that supply chain coordination needs to happen at each stage to avoid cost implications. Many researchers are now considering how blockchain technology could solve these problems to increase transparency and traceability within the system.
As a Managing Partner for Farrelly & Mitchell, Philip has consulted with countless food and beverage agribusinesses around the world. His expertise includes commercial and technical due diligence, business valuation, feasability modelling, and more.
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