What is the business case for blockchain?
• Blockchain delivers security through transparency, providing an immutable ledger all parties rely on.
• In the case of a recall, damage is limited, and time is saved when all participants in a supply chain participate in data sharing on a blockchain network.
• Business value is realized through the removal of friction in transaction processes, increased efficiency in transactions, and quick dispute resolution. Using smart contracts, SLAs of a business agreement are turned into code that automates payment and resolves simple disputes. By streamlining transaction processes, food suppliers will reduce loss due to spoilage as perishable items are shipped and received along the supply chain.
Where is the industry seeing pressure to adopt blockchain?
• Large retail customers like Walmart.
• Perceived consumer demand to know where our food comes from.
• New developments in the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).
Movements in the food-traceability market
• IBM Food Trust blockchain platform runs on Hyperledger and focuses on the needs of grocery retailers and distributors.
• Ripe.io, runs on Hyperledger, focuses on freshness in distribution.
• Other players developing API-as-a-Service platforms to be interoperable with multiple blockchain solutions.
What are the barriers to blockchain adoption?
• Apprehension and lack of understanding of the technology.
• Lack of data consistency and common definitions across the supply chain.
• Continued use of antiquated data-collection processes in pockets of the industry.
What can manufacturers do to prepare for blockchain?
• Adopt GS1 standards for product and location identification.
• Develop uniform practices for data submission.
• Understand your end-goal to have a clear vision of what data analysis will be possible and how you will use this analysis to improve your bottom line and increase value across your supply chain.