By Dr S T Maharaj
After Globalisation, food supply chain expanded, where many diverse food products are manufactured and moved to many parts of world from different countries. The consumers and manufactures are not well connected and there is complexity to understand the nature of origin, process, contents of products where manufacturers labelled products produced from locally and internationally procured ingredients. Globalisation and easy world trade made the food supply chain complex thereby altering the quantity, type, economy and desirability and choices of food available for consumption. Many consumers strongly demand to know what they eat, where it is come from, full transparency of products. Many consumers more demanding about information about food origin, locally or internationally produced and processes and they want to understand the product ingredients are halal, vegan or vegetarian or any allergic ingredients and the products are made sustainable, safe and hygienic way.
Adopting with blockchain technology, consumers, retailers and food industry stakeholders can trace the entire lifecycle of food products from origin through every point of contact on its journey to the consumer. The Food Trust solution, created by IBM, is the first blockchain safety solution that allows transaction partners to confidently and securely share food information, creating a more transparent and trustworthy global food supply chain. According to IBM, simplifying the food supply system could help consumers eat well, vendors save money and omit the negative news stories in the media
The demanded information of consumers can easily transfer using blockchain technology, where user friendly mechanisms providing information to consumers very quickly from a smart QR code on a food label, using a smart phone QR code reader consumers can promptly and effectively access all information which help to take an informed prepurchase decision on any food products. This is an innovative block chain platform technology, which helps customers track and trace food products from farm to plate providing full transparency of products and food manufactures able to offer verified product sourcing and sustainability information to customers. Food manufactures can do a full audit of their products during and after of entire manufacturing, handling and shipping history, available at the push of a button and protect food supply chain from any adulteration or related fraud on food products.
The information carried by smart QR code is a series of transaction and information of food ingredients origin and processes, movement of products with date and time. This technology guarantees about safety and authenticity of products, strongly prevent food fraud especially counterfeiting products of premium food products in markets such as wine, baby foods, organic products. Consumers enable to get genuine information about production such products follow ethical and sustainable principles.
This innovative technology enables both retailers and consumers could instantly check how a particular food was grown or produced, such as halal, or vegan, organic nature of products. Both consumers and retailers can check whether the right conditions were maintained during transit, such as temperature of frozen and chilled products and when it will expire. That takes product safety assurance to a new level. And it enables much more efficient routing of products nearing expiry.
Block chain technology helps to quick recall products from markets, especially specific batch affected with any food safety risk identified in those products that already distributed to the market, so that consumers are protected unwanted purchase of recalled products and can separate such recalled products quickly from the market.