5 Food Supply Chain Traceability Examples In 2022

Published
, 10 minute read

Quick summary: The ever-growing food industry has an intricate web of operational connections between players in the supply chain. The supply chain and its management become one of the most important aspects of the functioning of the colossal food industry. Blockchain traceability solutions provide real-time transparency in the entire supply chain. TraceX has helped many organizations in achieving this end-to-end traceability across different value chains

The ever-growing food industry has an intricate web of operational connections between players in the supply chain. From the sourcing of raw material to the final product reaching the hands of the consumer, an elaborate and meticulous arrangement of processes and operations is carried out. This web of operations is so fragile and uncertain that it requires a well-planned and well-managed supply chain.

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The global food supply chain is a complex and interconnected system that spans the globe, delivering food products from farms to tables around the world. Though the food supply chain has enabled us to feed the growing population, it faces challenges of food safety, environmental impact and ethical concerns. Consumers today are demanding greater transparency in the food they eat and are concerned about its quality and nutrition. Food supply chain traceability is emerging as a strong solution to address these concerns and ensure a more resilient and sustainable food system. 

This web of operations is so fragile and uncertain that it requires a well-planned and well-managed supply chain. 

Therefore, the supply chain and its management become one of the most important aspects of the functioning of the colossal food industry. 

With the increasing complexity and global reach of supply chains, data management becomes crucial for process optimization and monitoring of operations. Data can identify and mitigate risks such as supply chain disruptions, quality issues and compliance. Data is important for sustainability and  ethical concerns and enable the stakeholders to track and measure the social and environmental impact in food supply chains.

In order to manage this colossal data, technology solutions are critical to interpret them and make better decisions across the food supply chain.

Blockchain in the Food supply chain

A fundamental supply chain is defined as any trade or exchange between two parties. The structure of a supply chain is defined as a relationship or arrangement for the acquisition and sale of goods or services, which includes the sale of raw materials, processing services, production, distribution, and transportation of products till they reach the final customer. The degree of collaboration between players, the level of business activities, and the size of the supply chain change differs from one firm to the next. One such breakthrough in the food supply chain traceability is the implementation of Blockchain technology. 

Blockchain is a distributed ledger technology that allows data to be recorded at specified points in the supply chain and is accessible by all payers in the chain. It has a decentralized structure in which data is not handled by a single authority; any data modifications or tampering will be broadcast to all players. The tracking and traceability tool allows you to track products throughout the supply chain and, if necessary, conduct a recall. The implementation gave both organizations and customers the transparency of operations and trust among players in the supply chain.

As global trade brings volumes, it proportionately includes players within the supply chain. As these contracts become more complex, the need for transparency also increases.

Blockchain technology fits through this loophole perfectly well by providing real-time transparency throughout the supply chain. For various needs, data is gathered along the supply chain of products and their components. Traceability systems aid in the identification and tracking of products throughout a continuous process, regardless of industry. The amount of data gathered (Breadth), the depth to which the product can be tracked backward or upward in the supply chain (Depth), and the level of precision of information that can ensure the source or origin of data collected (Precision) are all factors that differentiate traceability systems.

Read more about 5 step approach to Food traceability

Traceability differs in approach, depending on the value chain and its required outcome. Below are a few traceability examples from different value chains across markets.

Traceability in agriculture exports

One of the important features of Blockchain technology is the ability to trace a product in its journey through the supply chain. Traceability is the process wherein the movement of the product is followed through different stages in the supply chain. This tool helps in providing food safety, quality, and product authenticity. In TraceX we partnered with OLAM, which works with thousands of farmers involved in E2E management of various agri-commodities.

TraceX’s Blockchain solutions were implemented to promote traceability and sustainability in Basmati rice production in the state of Haryana. Various challenges like mismanagement of stakeholders, proper ledger maintenance, residue-free production and traceability were to be handled. We provided a one-stop solution through our FOOD SIGN application catering to various needs like the systematic recording of data, crop and farmers’ information updates, performance tracker, water and pesticides dose recommendation, and visibility throughout the supply chain.

This empowered the farmers with trust and confidence and helped them to reap multiple benefits.

Both farmers and consumers could track operations and take decisions accordingly.

Read more on How a Major Exporter used Traceability for Sustainable Basmati rice production

Procurement practice

Data management occurs at every stage of a good supply chain. Entry of data at every collection and dispatch points are crucial in maintaining data and track of products. The procurement of raw materials with every detail relating to such purchase and details regarding the same have to be captured. The automated procurement process, procurement model, transparency, a centralized data hub, multi-sourcing strategies, and optimization of inventory are a few of them.

The visibility and traceability of procurement and operations act as proof to the user.

Professor Jayashankar Telangana State Agricultural University (PJTSAU) wanted to implement supply chain traceability for its seed value chain. India is one of the top seed exporters facing hoarding issues, price fluctuations, a disorganized system, and seed tampering.

The University collaborated with TraceX to completely digitalize its seed value chain promoting traceability, transparency, quality testing after harvest, and QR code packing and labeling.

This ensured quality seed delivery to the farmers and buyers, assuring them of the authenticity of the product.

Read how TraceX helped PJTSAU to improve authenticity of seeds

Join TraceX safe and sustainable food ecosystem for connected and climate-reslient supply chains

Processing Plant Inspection

The key aspect of a supply chain is the link between players in the supply chain. The transition and transport of products have to take place systematically to maintain a good relationship between these players. Therefore, material inspection has to take place at both collections and drop-off points. Every process that a product goes through is linked to the raw material that has been used in the specific product.

Better management in maintaining the quality of raw materials would result in better quality output.

MTR Foods Ltd partnered with TraceX to trace one of their raw materials called the Byadgi chilly.

These are grown in the North of Karnataka and are used in almost every Indian dish.

MTR works with a few local FPOs who act as a link between the farmers and the company (MTR). Along with bringing transparency within the byadgi supply chain, MTR was keen to look into the handling practices of chilies as it generated a toxic called Aflatoxins through the growth of fungi caused by the moisture content on crops.

By root cause analysis, MTR in collaboration with TraceX could achieve quality, standard, trust, and credibility for their product.

Read more about the MTR story

Proof of Origin

Red wine from French! Mangoes from India! Tea leaves from Burma! These are a few modern days claims. Organizations have been using product origin and quality testing details as sales pitches. Although it’s an added benefit to the consumer, the provenance of such data has to be provided. Therefore, the efficient method to prove such processes is to implement traceability through Blockchain technology.

Every sourcing detail is electronically captured and conveyed, providing visibility, traceability, and building trust among players in the supply chain.

The Vegetable and Fruit Promotion Council of Kerala (VFPCK) approached TraceX technologies to completely digitalize their Nendran Banana supply chain and to provide provenance of origin and quality as their Banana were exported to the United Kingdom whose regulatory standards were stringent.

TraceX digitalized and connected multiple stakeholders through its Food Sign application which was used to record on-the-go details like crop cultivation activities, harvest, movement of produce to processing, gathering the bananas, cleaning, sorting, grading, hygiene packing, and precooling process.

Details like product origin, dates, grade, supply chain touchpoints, etc were provided to the consumers through a QR Code printed on the packing.

Read the Nendran banana journey

Product Recalls

Undoubtedly the most prominent feature of Blockchain technology is its ability to recall. Through traceability, a product recall can take place in real-time. For the food industry, the world is a marketplace, hence its product variety and reach are tenfold. Therefore, the ability to identify products through these complex connections is an added advantage.

Recalls cost a lot of dollars and tarnish the brand image.

Real-time track and trace systems help to target recall accurately, thereby saving costs and building trustworthy brands.

With the implementation of Blockchain, technology, TraceX was able to provide end-to-end traceability for Timios, a D2C baby food brand, assuring mothers of safe and healthy food for their babies.

The traceability solutions helped Timios to showcase the product journey of their baby food from source to consumption, thereby gaining consumer engagement and building a loyal, trustworthy brand. They were assured of safe products without the risks of costly food recalls.

Blockchain helps in the implementation of data recording at each stage of the supply chain which in turn helps in linking processes and raw materials.

Thus, when there are quality issues, impurities, or defects in the product, the traceability tool provides leverage to recall products in real-time.

Read about the traceability journey of the porridge pack

A complete guide on supply chain management | Read here

Benefits of Food Supply Chain Traceability with Blockchain

Blockchain offers the following benefits: 

  • Increased Transparency 

The tamper proof decentralized ledger enables all stakeholders to access and verify the origin and the journey of the product thereby making it transparent. 

  • Improved Efficiency 

Blockchain streamlines and automates processes with a better control over inventory and eliminates intermediaries. 

  • Enhanced Food Safety 

Real-time capture and tracking of data all along the supply chain assures a quality product with the ability to initiate recalls in the event of any quality issues. 

  • Validates Sustainability 

The immutable records provide a single source of truth and helps to validate sourcing and other sustainability claims and authenticate the product. 

  • Ensures Regulatory Compliance 

The immutable and auditable records reduces the risk of fraud and counterfeit and satisfies regulatory compliance 

Conclusion 

According to Markets and Markets research, the global blockchain in agriculture and food supply chain market is estimated to reach USD 948 million by 2025. The growth is driven by a demand for transparency from all stakeholders and the need for product provenance from consumers. 

The use of blockchain in food supply chain traceability can increase transparency and provide a tamper-proof record of the product journey from farm to fork. This enables quicker and accurate identification of contamination issues or frauds and allows for more efficient targeted recalls. In spite a few challenges on interoperability and data standardization, the potential benefits are evident.

In today’s fast-paced and competitive business environment, don’t miss out on the benefits that blockchain can offer. Start exploring blockchain traceability solutions today and see how they transform your business.

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