Transparency in the food chain, ensured by blockchain technology


Bitcoin’s price surged at the end of 2017, making the system behind it, blockchain technology, a trending topic of 2018. A system that has taken root not only in the banking world but also in the food industry.

First things first: blockchain is the technology that makes the monitoring and tracking of resources possible and secure, whatever these resources are: it is a record of peer-to-peer, immutable, transparent, efficient and also secure transactions, in which the parties do not need intermediaries.

The ability of this technology to ensure provenance, transparency, traceability and trust, applied to the food system, can potentially unlock communications in the complex food chain - farmers, producers, retailers and end customers - and make them more transparent. How? By registering every single strategic step of the food chain. In response to the organisation in silos which is, by definition, poorly transparent and inefficient and which is typical of the subjects involved in the food chain, blockchain streamlines communications and the network between the farmer, the retailer and the producer; what is more, it increases end customers’ loyalty, who are increasingly mindful of the food they buy and more open to technology, which is seen as an opportunity and no longer as a threat.  

One of the many virtuous examples in this respect is that of the Viant platform, which has teamed up with WWF to implement their blockhain technology and thus trace sustainable tuna fishing in Fiji. How does it work? By analysing tuna packaging, it is possible to trace where, when and how the fish was caught. This level of transparency could stamp out illegal fishing, which would not only prevent human rights abuses in the fishing industry, but would also contribute to the sustainability and viability of the sector.