Digitalisation of Food Supply Chain Increases Transparency and Trust

Thomas Iseler, NA America Partnerships & Business Advisor at Finboot.
November 14, 2023

Food supply chains can be complicated and generally characterised by long shipment distances, lengthy processing times, a lack of transparency, and a lack of digitised documentation, resulting in little trust in the process and significant inefficiencies. 


Pressures on global food supply chains


Climate change is leading to increased extreme weather events across the globe, which is having a negative impact on crop yields.  Farmers are having to adapt and evolve their methods to try to build resilience into their practices to maintain yields, not to mention address global food security.  


The world’s population has grown from circa six billion in 2000 to around eight billion in 2023.  During the twentieth century, the population in the world has grown from 1.65 billion to six billion.


The emptying of supermarket shelves by panic buying from shoppers during the COVID pandemic demonstrated the chaos that disruption to a nation’s food supply can provoke.


Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 has led to disruptions in grain and other food stuff supplies, which in turn have resulted in global food inflation and once again empty food shelves. Just this summer, it was almost impossible to buy tomatoes in any UK supermarket. 


The current instability in Israel and Gaza has given the global economy and its global supply chains further shocks and instability.


According to a recent report from Dyson School of AppliedEconomics and Management, Cornell University, covered by Forbes, logistics and product pricing are closely related, with transportation reflecting over 26 per cent of the cost of perishable food products, like fruit and vegetables, for wholesalers.


In addition, consumers demand is growing for produce sourced from local suppliers (at least as near as possible to cut down on “food miles”) that uses ethical and sustainable practices. More than ever, consumers want to know what they are eating, where it has come from and how it was treated. Let’s not forget the horsemeat scandal in the UK


Consumers are also demanding organic food because of its, perceived and actual, health benefits.


Allied to these consumer demands, regulators around the world have introduced more regulations, covering everything from animal husbandry to live animal transportation – with more animal welfare regulations on the horizon.  


Consumers, consumer groups, and health groups are also demanding better and more reliable food labelling and more sustainable packaging.


The food production industry’s response


Faced with such pressures and disruptions, what can the food industry do to continue to feed the world while also giving them trusted information to enable them to make informed choices. 


The food production industry is beginning to invest in new digital supplychain systems and business models to ensure it continues to meet these new demands and regulations and thrive.


Digital tools such as blockchain based no-code/ low-code tracking solutions can significantly improve food traceability, and quickly and easily increase efficiency and transparency in the food supply chain. 


Otherwise known as the “trust platform”, it uses a shared ledger to provide a single source of truth that is immutable and any change is digitally documented. Especially when it involves a large number of parties, blockchain-based track and trace solutions can streamline the food supply chain and uses data-backed evidence to build trust. 


By digitising their processes, the food industry is able to leverage trustable means such as machinery or ‘digital product passports’ to validate food safety and environmental, social and governance compliance. Digital product passports can include all the information about a product, enabling long-term control and transparency.  


Such digital tools can also lower instances of food fraud, boost operational efficiency and scalability, and ensure environmental, social and governance (ESG) objectives are met and reported upon accurately. 


The pressure on the industry, from regulators and society, highlights a need for initiative and increasing trust between supplier and consumer. As demand for transparency increases, enterprises need to have tangible and reliable proof of a robust – and as local / ethical as possible – supply chain. 


By using blockchain-powered solutions to back their operations, food manufacturers can map data on their supply chain and provide this data whenever they are required to. At its core, blockchain technology greatly improves supply chain management when several companies are involved by providing a shared system of record to manage the flow of data and enhancing traceability on a secure network.  In a typical example for the food industry, a larger number of farmers / suppliers work with just a few processing, distribution, and marketing companies. The flow of multiple products and related financial transactions, as well as the controlled and intelligent processing of goods involved, and the documentation of regulatory and sustainability requirements and goals, needs to tracked, documented, shared in an easy and trustworthy way. 


Finboot is a world-class enterprise blockchain platform supplier with a proven trackrecord. Finboot’s no-code / low-code blockchain based Track and Trace solution, MARCO, brings value to consumers and stakeholders by increasing traceability and transparency, and doing that in a very easy, fast and flexible way to implement, configure and use. By providing corporations with a reliable source of data, Finboot can provide real-time results and evidence for companies to verify and demonstrate accountability for their sustainable goals and future-proof them in an increasingly digital world. 

Finding the source of truth: How can we eliminate food fraud?
Finding the source of truth: How can we eliminate food fraud? Download this ebook now!