Your Food on the Blockchain

If you’re ever eaten a banana or a pineapple, chances are it was distributed to you by Dole Food Company. The 150-year old company is one of the largest producers of fruits and vegetables in the world. And this legacy company sees the great potential in blockchain technology. 

In its recent sustainability report, Dole stated that in order to better address food safety, it plans to “implement blockchain product-tagging technology and/or advanced traceability solutions in all Dole divisions by 2025”. The company is already rolling out its blockchain solutions in the US. In fact, the company is partnering up with Walmart, IBM and others to show just what blockchain technology is capable of – cutting the average time necessary for food safety reviews – from weeks to seconds. So long as the fruits and vegetables are recorded on the blockchain, they can be easily traced through the supply chain. Therefore, in the case there is an issue with the produce, or simply that a consumer wants to know where its food came from, it can be easily tracked. Dole continued, “eventually, consumers will be able to scan each bag of salad or package of vegetables in-store to get information about its journey from farm to store shelf.” 

Dole isn’t the only legacy company jumping on the blockchain train. Food giants Nestlé and Unilever are also interested in implementing blockchain solutions to their businesses. Walmart has already completed two blockchain pilot programs, and has been able to effectively decrease its trace-back time on mangos from over six days to just 2.2 seconds. 

Nestle will allow consumers to trace Zoégas coffee, one of its coffee brands, back to its origins in Brazil, Rwanda and Colombia. Consumers will be able to view the time and location of harvest, the coffee’s roasting period and more. And last year, Nestlé’s Australia division launched a blockchain-powered supply chain project called “Chain of Origin”. Legacy companies like Nestlé see the importance of adapting to the times by implementing technologies that will make their companies infinitely more efficient.

Blockchain technology will even help address food fraud – which is when food is either tampered with, misrepresented or mislabeled. This happens more often than you might think. For example, this can often happen with olive oil, wine, milk, coffee, tea, fish and other staples. One of the most widely-publicized cases of food fraud involved wine expert Rudy Kurniawan. He was able to get away with selling and auctioning off counterfeit wine for years before he was finally caught. He would fill old and expensive vintage bottles of wine with inexpensive wines. And unfortunately wine fraud specifically is on the rise. But blockchain technology can help stop this.

Georgian wine franchise brand Vault Wines is already implementing blockchain solutions by using “smart-contract technology to create a digital contract of wine purchase between consumer and winery”. It has teamed up with EY to do this and provide information such as the geography of the wine, cultivation (which pesticides and fertilizers were used in the wine-making process), as well as distribution and sale information.

So there you have it. A company located in the world’s oldest wine region as well as legacy food companies with over 100-year old histories realize the potential of this incredible technology to cut costs, save time, and provide customers with peace of mind and a plethora of information to educate and help them understand their food better. This is a win-win for all.

We believe this revolutionary technology will catapult new and old companies into a better future. Interested in implementing blockchain solutions for your own company? Well, we’ve got the right people to help you do just that. Learn more at blockchaincollective.co or contact us directly.

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