As Blockchain applications are getting more and more interesting, all industries are becoming curious about how this new technology can help them. While other sectors like the fashion industry are already experimenting with interesting solutions based on Blockchain, the food industry seems not to be on the same page, but is that true?
Consumers are more health-aware than ever before, therefore, they demand transparency, and they want to know as much as possible about what they put in their plates.
According to research carried out by FMI (Food Marketing Institute), 75% of consumers are more likely to choose food brands that provide more information, even if it is their favourite brands. The same questions, three years ago, had the same response only for 39% of the consumers. This is a clear pattern that indicates a problem that Blockchain can solve.
Traceability of food, however, cannot be treated simply as a customer care issue, because it involves the whole food industry and calls food companies to an extra responsibility and requires them to record every single transaction, which is not always possible at the actual conditions.
Blockchain applications in the food industry
There are two main problems Blockchain could solve in the food industry: the first one, as we said, is the traceability of food. The second one is preventing food contamination and the spreading of various diseases by identifying unhealthy batches. For example, if a particular batch is spreading some kind of food poisoning bacteria, instead of taking several food samples to specialised labs or analyses that would take weeks, the identification of the unsafe batch would be a matter of seconds.
One of the peculiarities of Blockchain applications, in fact, is the possibility of recording data from different sources and presenting this information on a single output, so from the farmer to the retailer, all transactions are recorded and can be accessed any time by consumers, who can rest assured that no one will ever be able to delete or manipulate them.
Everything can be recorded: the location of the farm, the condition of the soil, the health of the crop, the weather, the fertilisers used, and so on.
Small farmers could potentially attract more investors, therefore, increasing their chances to get funds to improve their land and productivity by running ICOs.
Do you think it is impossible? Well, you should check out Agrocoin, then: a decentralised ledger platform dedicated to agricultural products trading on a global scale, allowing exchanges between Agrocoin and fiat currency, and working with smart contracts.
The case of the Italian mozzarella on the Blockchain
All of that being said, it is clear that the apparently quiet food industry is showing its interest in Blockchain technologies in a loud and clear manner. In particular, we found very interesting the case of the Italian dairy company Spinosa, a family-owned business in the south of Italy with a long history in the dairy production industry. Its main product, buffalo mozzarella from Campania PDO, is now commercialised with a Blockchain Quality Check certificate.
Every package of mozzarella they sell, has now a QR code which, once it has been scanned, shows all the information on production and standards met, so the consumer can verify that the mozzarella they are eating comes from one of the certified farms in Campania, it has been processed according to high-quality standards, and it has been packed with contamination-proof materials.
With the implementation of Blockchain in its processes, Spinosa is doing two important things: first of all, it is committing to its customers in a stronger-than-ever way; secondarily, it is stating a declaration of war against counterfeit Made in Italy food, an important issue for the Italian food sector across the world that a lot of companies and organisations tried to oppose. The project Authentico is a valid example of support to users who want to buy real Italian food at fair prices.
Regarding Spinosa, this approach will guarantee the company a prominent position on a lot of foreign markets, where authenticity is one of the most questioned and yet valuable aspects.
Blockchain applications in the food industry are yet to be thoroughly explored, but there seems to be a bright future ahead.