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Blockchain will Transform Food Production & Distribution

While blockchain applications are still evolving across the globe, several use cases across asset tracking, financial services and digital identity are already in production and offer valuable improvements. Joining the list of compelling blockchain use cases: the food industry.

More than 30 percent of the food produced worldwide is lost or wasted before it is consumed. With the global population expected to grow to 9.8 billion by 2050, improving the food supply chain efficiency will greatly reduce food scarcity and advance the attainment of sustainability goals.

Introducing blockchain to the food industry can deliver many benefits. All are linked to the visibility it gives manufacturers, retailers and producers able to view their upstream and downstream activities, location and status of products, with certifications and insights for the entire value chain.

Blockchain Market Development

According to the latest market study by Juniper Research, blockchain will enable $31 billion in food fraud savings globally by 2024 by immutably tracking food across the supply chain. Substantial savings in food fraud will be realized from 2021 and compliance costs will be reduced by 30 percent by 2024.

The new research revealed that blockchain, used with the internet of things (IoT) sensors and trackers, will reduce retailers’ costs by streamlining supply chains; offering simpler regulatory compliance and efficient food recall process.

According to the Juniper assessment, building on their respective strengths, blockchain and the IoT can help to transform the food industry. Juniper analysts recommend that blockchain vendors and service providers seek IoT partnerships to appeal to stakeholders across the food production market.


While IoT solutions link the physical and digital worlds primarily via location tracking sensors and temperature and humidity monitoring, blockchain provides an immutable platform where this data can be stored and accessed by every player in the process.

The research found that the IoT and blockchain will add significant value to players involved in the supply chain, from farmers to retailers and consumers.

By replacing lengthy procedures with automated smart contracts, blockchain and the IoT bring cost reductions, risk mitigation and transparency to supply chains.

Outlook for Blockchain and IoT Innovation

The research also found that leading players in the food provenance space are leveraging their robust blockchain and IoT solutions. This includes IBM’s Food Trust and Watson platforms, SAP’s Track and Trace and Leonardo platforms, as well as Oracle’s Track and Trace, and Internet of Things solutions.

"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," said Dr Morgane Kimmich, research analyst at Juniper Research.

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