Advanced Digital Skills on Blockchain for Trusted Food Supply Chains

Advanced Digital Skills on Blockchain for Trusted Food Supply Chains
Food Supply Chain

TRUST-FOOD

Research Project

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Author: Anastasia Vlachou, Project Manager, Rezos Brands S.A.

The globalization of food supply chains has introduced complexities to modern food systems, leading to both positive and negative effects.

On the positive side, it has broadened the availability of food products sourced from diverse regions worldwide. This global shift in trade has also intensified competition among producers, resulting in decreased prices.

A major negative consequence is that it has created concerns related to food safety and transparency and therefore, it has pushed consumers further away from producers. Consumers’ demand to know where their food comes from or how it is produced and transported through the supply chain while aiming at quality in food has played a pivotal role in identifying that nowadays there is a lack in TRUST as regards our food.

Aiming to reshape consumers’ perceptions, rebuild their feelings of trust, and ensure food safety, a completely new approach based on transparency and traceability needs to be adopted.

Blockchain in the Food Supply Chain

Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLTs), including Blockchain Technologies (BCT), have the potential to transform the global food system by introducing important efficiency improvements throughout the entire value chain. Blockchain, in simple terms, is a decentralized digital ledger that records transactions across multiple computers in a way that is transparent, secure, and immutable. The term “blockchain” refers to the arrangement of these transactions into interconnected blocks. The chain keeps expanding as new blocks are added to it. Its adoption is increasingly widespread in the agri-food sector, offering a robust mechanism for enhancing food traceability and providing a transparent and reliable means to validate food quality, safety, and sustainability.

Figure 1. How does Blockchain works? Source: https://www.fool.com/terms/b/blockchain/

All the parties involved, from producers to retailers and end consumers, can have access to real-time information. Blockchain offers a record of each transaction in a block linked to the previous one, thus leaving no room for inconsistencies or mishandling of data. The end-to-end traceability that it offers by tracking food’s journey from Farm to Fork significantly reduces the risk of food fraud. Since the information stored on the blockchain is immutable, it ensures fraud prevention and maintains data integrity. Though accurate and up-to-date data is provided by Blockchain implementation, optimization in inventory management is achieved. Finally, by leveraging Blockchain technology, the food supply chain can align with regulatory compliance standards.

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated digital transformation across industries, with Blockchain Technologies (BCT) emerging as a valuable tool for creating highly secure, transparent, and effective solutions. BCT can also address emerging food safety and pricing issues resulting from current conflicts, such as those in Ukraine. Notably, BCT is currently recognized as the single most in-demand hard skill globally, with the market forecasted to reach $163 billion by 2027.

Farmers and agri-food SMEs are the key ingredients to producing quality food, but they are often left out of new technologies, and sustainable producers struggle to differentiate themselves. This lack of access to technology often disincentivizes them. However, blockchain technology (BCT), with its ability to provide increased trust, speed, transparency, accountability, reach, sustainability, and reduced costs, has the potential to address this problem and drive consumer purchasing power toward sustainable products. While large actors are likely quickly to exploit BCT, small farmers, and SMEs can also experience significant benefits if they are granted access to this technology.

Figure 2. Conceptual framework of blockchain technology adoption in the food supply chain. Source: https://www.mdpi.com/2304-8158/12/10/2052

TRUST-FOOD’s Objective and Solution

TRUST-FOOD provides a comprehensive and adaptable set of courses on blockchain technology (BCT), specifically designed to enhance the skills of employees and job seekers within the agri-food sector.

TRUST-FOOD accommodates multidisciplinary approaches to provide affordable access to high-quality, specialized BCT training courses. These courses are tailored to meet the real needs of agribusinesses and reflect the latest advancements in BCT. They cover the entire food supply chain, from Farm to Fork, and will be delivered through various learning methods and environments, including online and onsite lessons, to address every need.

Figure 3. Main Methodological Structure of the Project’s Design

Our Courses

“TRUSTFOOD has received funding from the European Union’s Digital Europe research and innovation programme under grant agreement no. 101100804”.

References

  1. Exploring Factors and Impact of Blockchain Technology in the Food Supply Chains: An Exploratory Study, Abubakar Mohammed, Vidyasagar Potdar and Mohammed Quaddus, Foods 2023, 12(10), 2052; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12102052
  2. What is Blockchain? Available at: https://www.fool.com/terms/b/blockchain/
  3. Consumer trust in the food chain: exploring barriers and motivations. Available at: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwiVzcfF1-GEAxWI8gIHHVMmDPsQFnoECBUQAQ&url=https%3A%2F%2Feit.europa.eu%2Fsites%2Fdefault%2Ffiles%2F18199_citizen_participation_forum_report.pdf&usg=AOvVaw3S536njJ1EG7q3XkvJxn88&opi=89978449
  4. Statista. Available at: https://www.statista.com/statistics/1015362/worldwide-blockchain-technology-market-size/
  5. Blockchain in Food Supply Chain, Daksh Patela, Aditya Sinhaa, Tilak Bhansalia, Usha. Ga, Velliangiri. Sa, 2023. Available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

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