Provenance Uses The Blockchain To Track The Origin Of Products

Blockchain & Supply Chain: Real Life Use Cases #1

Provenance is a London based collective aiming to empower brands’ commitment to deliver transparent and open information by providing tailor-made solutions using the blockchain technology as a trustable ledger to register peer to peer exchanges. 
This case study made by Provenance in 2016 is detailing the complete process they developed using the blockchain technology, mobile and smart tagging, in order to track tuna fishes, from the moment they are catch in Indonesia, all the way to the consumer.

‘Blockchain providing the base layer of truth across the supply chain’ , Provenance, Tracking Tuna on the blockchain, Case Study (2016)

1. The problem

Global and complex supply chains are favoring incorrect ethical practices toward our environment and the well-being of workers. Indonesia is the first country producer of tunas, which represents 60 million of employments. Nevertheless, unpaid fishermen, overfishing, and illegal fishing are current abuses practiced in the country. Indonesian fishermen are exploited in order to catch fishes most often sold by major European retailers, supposedly not aware of those methods.

To support responsible and sustainable practices a control over the entire supply chain is necessary in order to ‘achieve data and transaction transparency’ between each participant in the supply chain.

2. The solution

The process integrated by Provenance using the blockchain can be divided into three phases and seven steps, made very simple for each participant to follow and benefit from.

At the beginning of the process, Provenance firstly met local fishermen, employed by eight different fishing organizations, implicated in the reinstatement of hand-line fisheries. Trusted local NGOs certify the social and environmental compliances of each fisherman registered on the Provenance-validated chain of custody. These fishermen record their catch on the blockchain with a simple sms. Every assets registered are provided with a unique ID and transferred to the supplier both digitally and physically. This transaction is recorded on the blockchain making the supplier the new owner of the catch, and keeping records of the fisherman who made the catch as previous owner.

By using an interoperable, open data management interface named Tally-O, connected to the blockchain, organization downstream and upstream on the supply chain can acknowledge at every step the origin of the product. During each step, different digital tools are used to register the specific transaction on the blockchain, taking into account the standards and means of each party.

The tuna is sent to the factory where it will be transformed in cans, filets for supermarkets or filets for restaurants. When arriving in the factory, the tuna with its unique ID is weighted and transformed in accordance to the specific rules and instructions of a publicly disclosed smart contract implemented in the blockchain.
When transformed, each product is given an encoded label that will be passed with the transformed product down the chain.

Different retail experiences of transparent supply chains, Provenance, Tracking Tuna on the blockchain, Case Study (2016)

The final phase of the process concerns the accessibility of datas to consumers in different retail scenarios. Using the NFC technology implanted in smart stickers, consumers are able to scan Provenance products with their smartphones and view the origin of the products they buy. 
The facility of smart stickers offer numerous ways for marketer to create unique experiences and thus enhance the value of their products to customers.