The digital era we live in entails an ongoing digital revolution that changes technology rapidly. The interesting part of these fast changes is the versatility shown by technological innovations that seem to develop new potential when applied to different sectors.
Take blockchain, for example. Initially created to regulate the transactions made in cryptocurrency, it now stands as the most revolutionary way to innovate the food sector and its supply chain. We all know by now that a blockchain is a digital distributed ledger, maintained by a network of multiple computers that store data in the form of blocks which are cryptographically secured and immutable. In other words, we are talking about a process of passing information from stage to stage that takes places in a fully automated and safe environment. It is in this perspective that blockchain becomes truly interesting for all of us involved in the food industry, as it can indeed create a new system that grants a better traceability and improved food safety while building relationships based on trust.
So far the food supply chain system has been based on the reliability of all the numerous professionals involved: crucial information were shared by each one of them but these data used to be stored in their local serves or shared on paper documents. Chances of fraud were high. As soon as blockchain becomes integrated in our respective businesses, we will able to share a secure environment where each of the participants in the supply chain can access relevant, unmodifiable data. It is not just about reliability anymore, it is about accountability.
If we then consider the final hyperconnected consumers, whose trust can now make or break the success of a food company, more advantages need to be taken into account. These consumers will be able to check the data concerning a certain product while shopping, simply using their smartphones with QR code readers: in this scenario, giving transparency to sustainability and quality will become of paramount importance to preserve brand reputation. Involving the final consumer as an active inspector of the production and supply chain will also help a specific market like ours protect the original Made in Italy products from those “Italian sounding” ones that do not respect the standards and traditions of our agrifood excellences, thus safeguarding their high quality.