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Blockchain for Visibility in the Food Supply Chain

Growing world populations are expected to reach 10billion by the year 2050. With this, we are also expected to demand on the food supply chain to evolve and become more efficient, more accurate and more reliable. More and more people want visibility into what’s inside the products they are about to consume. They want to be able to make trustworthy food choices for themselves, their families, and their communities.

The complexity of the global food supply chain can be shown in the diagram below.

blockchain-grocery-supply-chain
Picture extracted from: https://www.cbinsights.com/research/blockchain-grocery-supply-chain/

The increasing distances the food is traveling, from producer to consumer, keeping the food safe and at good quality is a big challenge the supply chain is facing. In one of the recent food scandal, in March 2018, an outbreak of Escherichia coli (E. coli) which was found in romaine lettuce had taken 1 life and caused 149 sick people in the United State. The hidden nature of foodborne illness symptoms only makes it more difficult to deduce exactly where a contaminated product originated.

The low transparency in the supply chain and inefficient batch sorting are the cause of lack of traceability. With Blockchain technology and the cooperation of the many members of a food supply chain, a single product can now be tracked in literally 2.2 seconds. This speed is now possible and helps improve the transparency and management of the food supply chain which will help establish that trust for the consumer.


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Karin Wang Huijuan, ADPSM
Karin Wang has substantive years of experiences in the food industry, specifically in operations and supply management. She is a member of the Singapore Institute of Purchasing and Materials Management (SIPMM). Karin holds a bachelor degree in Management and Marketing. She completed a leadership course, the Advanced Diploma in Procurement and Supply Management (ADPSM), on April 2019 at SIPMM Institute.
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