Consumers are always worried about the origins of products they buy, its authenticity and how it was handled.
As controversies roil around GMOs and food labeling, shoppers want to know the food they purchase originates from reputable sources, like if the fish they buy was sustainably caught or farm-raised.
One solution is blockchain technology. Blockchain is an approach to structuring data, and the basis of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Blockchain is a computer code made of blocks of transactions, data that permits the sharing of a digital ledger across computer connections without a central authority. This means no single entity can alter the information it holds.
If a blockchain could somehow be applied to fish at the supermarket, it would convey the fish’s origin, freshness, handling information and tracking data. It’s obvious that consumer confidence in any product would grow immensely with this degree of transparency.
For retail and consumer goods companies, sourcing information and openness currently comes via an image file or printed label, which can be challenging to comprehend and authenticate. With blockchain, businesses would have a public, long-lasting and unchangeable digital ledger that ensures product source, security and traceability. It would be verified by all transacting parties, which would lead to an increase in consumer confidence for brands that adopt the measure.
Changes to the supply chain
As a result of its decentralized nature, blockchain could produce a new model for supply chain methodology.
In addition to the confirmation of a product’s source, retailers are starting to make use of blockchain’s dispersed nature to tackle several supply chain challenges, including counterfeit deterrence, stolen product recovery and fraudulent orders.
Since blockchain is an open, widely distributed ledger, it is an ideal means to fix counterfeiting. All products and dealings are followed from their source forward. So, if a duplicate item or unsanctioned transaction should show up, it will immediately be tagged as counterfeit.
When a shopper finishes a transaction, the validity of the product purchased can be instantly confirmed via the system. If an item in a blockchain system were to be stolen, it could be found via any following transaction, which is instantly documented in the blockchain.
Since blockchain necessitates that all parties must verify transactions, it functions like an escrow account, safeguarding sellers and buyers by keeping funds until all parties can validate, which can be performed via automated means, removing the requirement for third parties.
In addition to the up-front benefits of transparency and security, the adoption of blockchain technology in the supply chain would also convey secondary benefits. Blockchain methods would smooth transactions with insurance companies by providing companies and claimants with a stable registry and secure authentication. Blockchain could also be used to protect copyrights and intellectual property by permanently linking the artist and their art. Finally, blockchain can address counterfeiting for goods that are difficult to trace, like pharmaceuticals, electronics and diamonds.
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At ZDA, we are passionate about staying abreast of evolving supply chain technology. If your company is looking to partner with a supply chain recruiter who understands the challenges you face, please contact us today!