As we can see, the Blockchain phenomenon is slowly integrating into our lives, making it imperative to understand its applications and limitations. Today, we will discuss how Blockchain can help the food industry grow.
Our current food system offers wide open opportunities to explore how Blockchain technology interacts with our ecosystem, both human and ecological, to add value to our lives. our. That is why there are many startups that have worked very hard in this field.
After the introduction of Ethereum, altcoins became a popular way to introduce ideas for new mysteries. We are currently in the promotional phase, where many developers are proposing bold ideas to solve non-existent or trivial problems. It is important that society and developers focus on applying Blockchain to relevant and important projects and not assuming Blockchain technology is a one-size-fits-all panacea.
Food and eating
Food quality is clearly linked to chronic diseases like heart disease, liver damage, stroke, diabetes and cancer, etc. We can significantly reduce chronic disease by improving the quality of food. . That leaves us with an answer to the question: Why do we eat poor quality food?
This big problem can be divided into three parts: production, delivery and sales.
Food production is started on farms. Cultivation always has to bear high risks such as: natural disasters, crop failure or harvest failure… It directly affects the problems that the farm is providing, besides the market conditions. and class agricultural corporations also make the life of small farmers more challenging. They abuse their positions by using expensive fertilizers and patented GMO seeds to gain a competitive advantage over smaller operations.
Another problem is in the food supply. Modern agriculture is beset by a producer, distributor, and consumer model. Large-scale food producers often organize industrial food production in developing countries. They then create large-scale distribution networks to sell food globally.
Manufacturers are often unable to sell their products directly to consumers, having to attract wholesalers or distributors to buy their products at low prices. Large companies can produce food cheaply and fill distribution channels, but this food is never consumed. The result is a new problem: food waste and disposal. Resources such as fuel and fertilizers used to produce and distribute food are never consumed, causing waste.
In fact, the issues of health, food, farming, agriculture and logistics are interconnected, and we can solve these challenges through modern technologies, using experts understand the system.
We spoke with Liz Reitzig, founder of NourishingLiberty, who has spent 15 years working on food systems from all angles. She is a consumer advocate who has worked in retail, policy, agriculture and farmer support.
Blockchain as a financial instrument
Blockchain technology provides good financial tools to provide farmers with a timely and complete payment for their efforts. Using these technologies will help avoid risks and make farmers’ lives easier. According to Reitzig:
“Blockchain … provides [a] means for farmers to contract with sellers to grow what is needed. Full or partial payment can be immediately escrow… to secure payment to farmers without breach of contract and coercion by marketers. Paying workers is a big challenge in the agricultural world, and Blockchain can alleviate that part. “
Thanks to smart farming contracts, farmers can get paid all year long, not just in summer and autumn. Using a calculation system based on smart contracts, it is much safer to work with pre-orders, grocery carts and purchase clubs.
“Some farms produce something called community-supported shared agriculture (CSA). This is a growing model where consumers pay a farm upfront for the whole season. We can pay $500 in early spring, and we’ll get a box of veggies a week for 30 weeks. Blockchain can handle the entire transaction. “
One of the first farmers to implement Blockchain as a financial tool to develop his economy was Mikhail Shlyapnikov, a farmer from Russia. He introduced his own code to his farm.
“A farmer has different tools: a shovel, a tractor. Blockchain is also a tool, and it’s up to you if you use it or not. “
Electronic payment transactions can include any agreement conditions without the need for a lawyer. Specific example: The owner of a small coffee shop can buy coffee beans directly from Kenyan farmers.
They can place an order, deliver to Europe, pay for customs clearance and certify it according to the laws of the country of delivery. E-transactions will help farmers reduce the long chain of intermediaries and cut many costs to get good prices to consumers.
Origin, quality and certification
Implementing Blockchain into food production, certification and processing steps creates transparency in a non-transparent system and allows consumers to support the suppliers of their choice. It is especially suitable for certified organic and original products.
Liz Reitzig emphasizes the importance of traceability of organic products:
“If a farm is certified organic, or they want to emphasize a different type of certification, they can use Blockchain to track produce. Consumers want to know what they are buying, and Blockchain can provide that. “
Marcel Blankenstein, owner of Naked Organics, believes that provenance information can be interesting to users as long as it is usable:
“Blockchain in agriculture allows consumers to scan the barcode of a product in a supermarket and instantly view the entire supply chain from supermarket to farmer. In terms of customer transparency. Legally, agricultural pollution can be isolated very quickly. “Can
Farmers Use Blockchain?
Reitzig believes that the most difficult obstacles to Blockchain implementation are complex working principles and terminology. She speaks:
“The biggest challenge for farmers when using Blockchain is overcoming its technical understanding. Farmers focus on farming. They are not technologically advanced. “
The problem for the ecosystem when using Blockchain is to be simple and easy to use. Several startups have worked on this and they developed to make Blockchain simpler to use for farmers, thereby unifying all functions of Blockchain related to food, agriculture and industry.
The system includes smart contract libraries, remote identification systems, digital currency payment processors, smart masking e-wallets, and their own currency tokens. Gregory Arzumanian, co-founder of 1000 Ecofarms, says:
“We learned about all the opportunities that Blockchain technology can help. When Blockchain technologies are tangible and easy to understand, we can apply them even with a basic need for food. The main objective is to create a global, understandable and secure ecosystem for agri-food and agribusiness businesses, allowing them to significantly reduce the costs associated with the production, sales and logistics of consumer goods. use.
Blockchain is not a panacea
The use of Blockchain technologies can reduce technical difficulties and simplify farmers’ lives but there are still many problems that consumers themselves have solvable:
“Unless consumers are taught to understand that conventional farming is ‘bad’, blockchain will have very little ‘good’ purpose, from a sustainability standpoint. It is important to remember that traceability does not equal good farming techniques and food quality does not equal healthy food.”