How blockchain can keep food safe
26 January 2018
The new Product Integrity Audit was announced earlier. Consumer confidence in the food industry increases when the authenticity and traceability of ingredients can be guaranteed. Blockchain technology, an innovation that is advancing steadily, can play a very important part in this process. At Schouw, we too are thinking about the implications.
These days, food integrity and quality is more important than ever. There is considerable consumer demand for transparency throughout the chain. The market is taking a stand: the time has come for an honest storyline. Blockchain technology enables the consumer to carefully examine where food comes from and the route it followed. This in turn enables retailers to stand fully behind the authenticity of the food on their shelves. Moreover, blockchain in the food industry enables valuable data to be recorded related to fair trade quality seals and sustainability.
'A technology that is set to grow and grow'
We at Schouw see blockchain as a technology with a really big future. According to Floor Sloots, food quality expert at Schouw Informatisering: "We traditionally deploy our business automation processes to safeguard corporate governance regulations for our clients. Blockchain enables us to offer far-reaching guarantees that satisfy the growing demand for data and information about food and its production. This responsibility is ideally suited to the role that we take upon ourselves: the role of trusted partner delivering IT for our customers. It is more than simply product transparency, it also has everything to do with the retail price and ensuring an honest distribution of margin throughout the chain.”
Technology in the supply chain
The continuous flow of historical data generated by the blockchain offers clients openness and transparency from creation to consumption, with the result that we can ultimately all review the same information. This is the responsibility of the entire chain. Analysis of a DNA sample of an animal can reveal important data, such as the country of origin. A digital sample of that DNA is added to each item or product of an organisation, whereby the traceability can be made visible at consumer unit level instead of the level of a whole batch. In this way, companies and the end-consumer can follow each item at every stage of the supply chain. This digital marker can then be cross-checked with the blockchain record to safeguard product authenticity throughout its lifecycle.
Integrity with a blockchain
We at Schouw are fully aware of the benefits of this emerging innovation. It represents the highest possible manner of tracking & tracing, ensuring optimal transparency in the chain and ultimately securing the food safety imperative. "We can provide the blockchain with information through our Foodware 365 software solution. It falls to us to facilitate this integration with a blockchain. The new Dynamics 365 platform - the ultimate platform for digital transformation - means we are ready for innovation such as this. We offer our clients access to innovation for which they would typically need to recruit hard-to-find specialists. For us, however, it is part of an innovative learning journey. Here at Schouw, we will be monitoring progress and we are always on hand to facilitate clients who want to step aboard," says Huub van Hout, Product Owner at Schouw Informatisering.
Nice to know: the
Microsoft Azure Platform already offers opportunities for blockchain, known as Coco.