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The global food industry could save approximately $31 billion in food fraud costs by 2024 if companies utilise blockchain technology to monitor their supply chains, according to a new study conducted by Juniper Research.
Blockchain is a tamper-proof digital ledger which helps to verify the origin and authenticity of products.
The new research claims that the adoption of blockchain and IoT sensors and trackers will reduce retailers’ costs by streamlining supply chains, simplifying regulatory compliance, offering a more efficient food recall process and tackling food fraud.
While IoT solutions provide services such as location tracking and temperature/humidity monitoring, blockchain provides a digital platform where this data can be stored securely, and which can be accessed by farmers, retailers and the consumer.
As this data cannot be tampered with in the way that paper records could be, companies will be able to guarantee the quality of and authenticity of products such as meat from farm to fork.
Juniper’s research claims that ‘substantial cost savings’ could be achieved as early as 2021, while estimating that compliance costs could be reduced by 30% by 2024.
According to research author, Dr Morgane Kimmich said: “Today, transparency and efficiency in the food supply chain are limited by opaque data forcing each company to rely on intermediaries and paper-based records.
“Blockchain and the IoT provide an immutable, shared platform for all actors in the supply chain to track and trace assets; saving time, resources and reducing fraud.”
Blockchain has been trialled by many major food and beverage companies including Nestlé, Carrefour and Bumble Bee Foods.
Earlier this year, researchers at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) started the development of blockchain solutions to tackle food fraud in the country.
According to the researchers, counterfeit producers often aim to capitalise on Denmark’s reputation for having a high standard of food safety by making products with inferior raw materials that are labelled as ‘made in Denmark’.
By using blockchain technology, the project will allow a selected group of members to exchange information that cannot be copied or manipulated by others without it being detected.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019