Blockchain is making its way into the food and beverage industry at an accelerated pace. Companies such as Walmart, Albertsons, and Nestlé have already begun participating in blockchain pilots moving forward. With many of them opting to use IBM’s Food Trust blockchain software as a service. From inventory tagging to supply chain efficiency, blockchain is quickly revolutionizing how the logistics of the food and beverage industry operate.
What is Blockchain?
If you’re scratching your head wondering, what’s blockchain? Fear not, you aren’t alone in that matter. Blockchain is a data technology that can be used to keep records. It creates a shared ledger that is distributed in a network of “blocks” which contain data. These blocks are what make up the blockchain. The main benefit of blockchain is that—unlike other forms of generating ledgers both paper and electronic, it’s much more difficult to tamper with and spoof since each block requires 6 verifications before it’s allowed into the chain. Additionally, since it’s a decentralized peer to peer network, data that has been accepted cannot be altered in any manner. It can only be reviewed and added to.
How is Blockchain Being Used in the Food and Beverage Industry?
For the food and beverage industry, this is highly valuable for many reasons, but there are 3 principal reasons why blockchain is going to be the future of the food and beverage (as well as many other industries) industry.
- Stopping Foodborne Illness. Consider that every year, retailers must recall millions of dollars of produce or meats that have been found to suffer from foodborne illnesses such as e.coli or salmonella. These incidents are not only common but expected from time to time. But that doesn’t change the fact that they are harmful to everyone involved.
Customers who wanted the item cannot obtain them during periods of recall, some people end up getting sick and occasionally someone becomes severely ill or—god forbid, passes away due to these outbreaks. It costs businesses their reputation, it costs them money, and it all around hurts everyone involved. It’s a total lose-lose.
Blockchain has the power to largely remedy this issue. Because every item and batch can be tagged and placed into the blockchain—and this information is not only highly organized but easily accessible, the time it takes to track down the source of infection is significantly reduced. This not only helps get the product back on shelves, but it prevents enormous waste by being able to confirm which batches are infected and which batches are unaffected. However, for this to work optimally, the entire supply-chain must adopt blockchain.
- It Increases Supply Chain Efficiency. For starters, blockchain can reduce the administrative bloat that doing paperwork places on employees. Most importantly, since data is much more aggregated and visible than traditional paperwork or older electronic methods of tracing, it will allow companies to more efficiently evaluate the weak points in their supply chain and act accordingly.
- It Brings a Whole New Meaning To From Farm to Table. With blockchain tracing, it will be possible to tag and track so many more metrics from an accessibility standpoint. Suppliers will be able to see exactly where a shipment has come from and where its cargo has also been. For example, you could tag and track all merchandise so that by scanning it, it’s possible to know not only where it came from, but when it was harvested, how long it traveled, and even the climates it had been through up until that point. This is not only useful in determining spoilage rates for produce, but also can help determine at what point in the cargo’s journey poses the most risk to developing spoilage or infection. Naturally, this information can be passed down to customers who wish to know as well.
Commercial Refrigeration Solutions
So there you have it, blockchain is quickly being adopted by many businesses in the food and beverage sphere for its enormous benefits and cost-saving potential.
Excellence Industries is a national leader and supplier of commercial cooling solutions. We’ve helped companies such as Pepsi, Conagra brands, Godiva, Outback Steakhouse and many more fulfill their refrigeration needs through our top of the line cooling systems and logistics solutions. We’re also fully EPA compliant and assist in recycling and refurbishing cooling systems because we are passionate about being eco-friendly and sustainable!
If you’d like to make your business cooler, contact us today here!