Foodblockchain XYZ proposes to use the Ethereum blockchain to mitigate known deficiencies in supply chains.
The details of the paper outline current issues faced by both consumers and businesses which Foodblockchain XYZ hopes to nullify. According to the statement, deficiencies exist in current supply chains, leaving consumers in the dark about the processes through which their food is manufactured. Specifically, the research points to six key shortcomings.
Lack of Insight
The existing gamut of labels and certifications currently apply to a product on the whole but the quality of individual items may still fall below acceptable standards due to, for example, issues which arise during distribution or sourcing.
Central Party Reliance
Consumers are currently forced to trust the government and industrial bodies that are tasked to enforce standards. As of now, no independent verification tool exists to allow consumers to assess the internal parameters of foodstuffs.
Often, labels fail to provide complete information about food products. Organic or BIO labels do not necessarily guarantee the absence of pesticides or genetically modified organisms, a fact many consumers fail to realize.
Smaller Producers Can't Compete
Smaller scale, environmentally friendly farm operations have no capability to demonstrate the value of their product to consumers in the absence of a peer-to-peer marketplace with a reputation system.
Supply Chain Opacity
The complex and often opaque aspects of supply chains make it difficult to trace ingredients, perform origin authentication, or identify potential chemical contaminant sources. In addition, infestation and transportation issues become difficult to track in a fragmented supply chain.
Lack of Sustainability
The environmental impact of farming operations frequently fails to impact the cost of food production. Emissions of CO2, industrial farm sites, and wasteful practices can create more issues after solving the problem of feeding people. A lack of insight fails to draw immediate correlations between these issues and profits, so they are often not addressed.
Foodblockchain XYZ hopes to leverage the state of technology against the system's shortcomings. In the statement, Food Supply Chain 2.0 will utilize a series of interconnected sensors which perform rapid, noninvasive, nondestructive analysis and assessment, constituting "comprehensive food quality assurance." All necessary data points are immutably recorded on the public Ethereum blockchain, with larger data sets stored off-chain, on Swarm, or other distributed storage solutions. Executable distributed code contracts (EDCCs) actively monitor sensors and the supply chain, making it possible for automated instant settlement of payments juxtaposed with instant discovery of problems. Users who lack the technical expertise to navigate EDCCs can make use of the "Food Checker App" built with a graphical user interface designed for simple intuitive interaction by scanning QR codes, smart tags, RFIDs, or other unique codes.
A FoodCoin will be tokenized to serve two functions. According to the statement:
"Firstly, it creates an incentive model for early adoption and growth of the network by allowing early users and developers to earn FoodCoins while using or improving the network; secondly, it serves as the payment method to access the functionality of the platform."
Other functionalities of the Food Supply Chain 2.0 include a peer-to-peer marketplace where delivery, price, quantity, and quality conditions can be stipulated; a dashboard for supply chain management to track orders, contracts, and deliveries; and interactive reputation systems which incentivize quality products through a tokenized reward system. The establishment of a "Farmer's Fund" contract has the capability to stimulate commerce by setting aside FoodCoins as collateral for microloans for smalltime farmers.
The statement indicates Food Supply Chain 2.0 developers believe there are countless applications for the food market.
"Our goal is to create a vibrant, community-driven ecosystem that can make use of the core and modules of Food Supply Chain 2.0 to build a better future for the global food markets. We are very much open to collaboration with interested developers, food enthusiasts, farmers and other parties with a stake in the food sector."
Jeremy Nation is a writer living in Los Angeles with interests in technology, human rights, and cuisine. He is a full time staff writer for ETHNews and holds value in Ether.