A new technology called blockchain is to reduce food fraud, arms the small producers and forge ahead a more transparent industry. Danish Food Cluster gathered the partners in a project that created the first blockchain of its kind.
Blockchain. A concept that entered the food industry a while ago, however no one has really taken the bait, but then again what is the gain?
Since the beginning of 2017, 386 food products has been drawn from the market due to the containment of pesticides, mold or salmonella states the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration’s website.
Decreasing the number of drawbacks is only one of the benefits, which got Danish Food Cluster to gather Central Denmark Region, IBM, Danish Technological Institute and Dininsektbutik to create the first blockchain of its kind within the Danish food industry. A project which the retail giant Salling Group is excited about:
“Salling Group backs the blockchain technology, which creates better transparency and if for instance tracking information and production data from the entire food value chain can be retrieved quickly, we also have better food safety in sight. In the same way as with any other new technology, we need someone to take the baton, gain experience, so other suppliers summons up courage to walk the same direction,” says Carina Jensen, Group Director Quality, Salling Group.
Another benefit is increased transparency, since all partners of a value chain shares relevant information with eath other – information which in the end are available to Mr. and Mrs. Hansen, who can follow the journey from farm to fork via their mobile phone. And in the case of this project it’s the journey of the insects. Therefore, the project is named Bugchain, as the project works with the value chain of two insect products:
“Our blockchain takes the journey of two concrete insect products as the starting point. The trust in a new food as with insects get better with blockchain, because the consumer can follow the entire history of the product. Then it is not as scary to eat,” says Anders Iversen, Innovation Manager, Danish Food Cluster.
The blockchain technology is good for the insect products, and it is good for the small companies, which don’t produce in a large scale. The blockchain technology insures parallel standards, and therefore it is not as chancy for large retailers to invite the small producers in.
And now the partners hope that the rest of the industry will follow:
“The potential is much bigger than where it is right now. We have the opportunity to expand this to the entire food industry. Currently, we are working on several projects globally where IBM Blockchain helps to ensure traceability in food. We can also help the food industry in Denmark so that Danish consumers can make a conscious choice about which food products they buy, where they come from and how they are produced,” says Carsten Juul Størner, Leader, Enterprise Applications, IBM.