News Supply chain

WWF, Boston Consulting launch food provenance blockchain

food traceability cows cattle beef

Yesterday the WWF and the Boston Consulting Group Digital Venture arm (BCGDV) announced the OpenSC food provenance blockchain, where SC stands for supply chain. The purpose of the platform is to ensure products are ethically sourced. Hence they shouldn’t be illegal or unethical, and they should be environmentally friendly.

By scanning a QR code, consumers will be able to trace the source of any product: where and how it was produced and the path through the supply chain. Digital tags such as RFID will be attached to food such as fish or beef and stored on a tamper-proof blockchain. Additional data will be recorded at each step on the supply chain including data like storage temperature in transit.

“Through OpenSC, we will have a whole new level of transparency about whether the food we eat is contributing to environmental degradation of habitats and species, as well as social injustice and human rights issues such as slavery. OpenSC will revolutionise how we all buy food and other products as well, enabling more informed decision making by consumers, businesses, governments, and industry bodies” said Dermot O’Gorman, WWF-Australia CEO.

OpenSC is based on a WWF pilot to trace tuna caught in the Pacific. Other tuna blockchain traceability projects include those from Pacifical and Bumble Bee. Austral Fisheries will incorporate OpenSC in their Toothfish fleet this year. The fishing company is part of Maruha Nichiro Group, the biggest seafood company in the world.

Paul Hunyor, BCGDV Managing Director and Co-Chair of the World Economic Forum Council on the Future of Consumption added: “In addition to providing transparency about the origin of an item’s production, OpenSC helps optimise business supply chain operations, reduces costs, and enables producers to manage issues such as product recalls.”

Other food blockchains

IBM’s Food Trust is one of the highest profile traceability projects and includes Walmart, Nestle, Unilever, and Carrefour. But there are numerous others.

Several projects are dedicated to tracking beef in South Korea, Wyoming and the UK. Dairy Farmers of America is exploring blockchain and there’s a Vietnamese pig traceability project. Both Oxfam in Cambodia and Alibaba have rice traceability projects.

Hanson Wade are running a conference called Blockchain for the Food & Beverage Supply Chain in San Francisco on March 26-27 2019. Ledger Insights is a media partner.

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