How to fix food supply chains with blockchain based traceability — Part 1. Food safety
A World Health Organization estimated annual hospitalization of 700 million people and 400,000 deaths are related to food-borne illnesses. The annual costs associated with these illness include: cost of medical treatment, lost productivity and illness-related mortality, and economical impact are said to equal $55B, according to a 2015 study by an Ohio State University professor Robert Scharff. This situation is the worst in emerging countries, and since a lot of them are very important food exporters, their problem is rather a global problem. The food safety measures can help to reduce the cost of food-borne related illnesses, but which is more important, they can save lives. Food safety is important for the people’s general health and daily life, economic development, social stability, and for the government’s and country’s public image.
How TE-FOOD can help
Authority control tools
In the TE-FOOD processes of different fresh products we have built-in authority control points for veterinary authority and food safety authority. That means TE-FOOD doesn’t allow the product to proceed to the next step in the supply chain without having the obligatory control point’s digital signature for the actual logistic or processing step. For the authorities, we have developed a function which helps them to put the actual product or live animal in quarantine and to store electronically every quarantine data.
Authority enforcement tools
The system gives controlled access to governmental or private enforcement organizations. The enforcement organization is enabled to check all food logistic and food safety information of a particular animal, transport, package or food product at each step of the supply chain.
Animal epidemic outbreak forecast
TE-FOOD’s Livestock Registration system provides a mobile app to collect animal inventory on a daily bases. Inventory data is automatically analyzed, and in case of any deviant difference the authorities are automatically alarmed. If the analytical algorithms concludes that measurements are signs of an epidemic outbreak, the built in function creates an epidemic spreading forecast, lock-down and observation maps to give accurate information and opportunity to respond much quicker than today.
Built in logistic deviance alerts
A very important factor for fresh food is to monitor the duration of each logistic steps. TE-FOOD has a lot of pre-set time limit parameters which can not be exceeded. For example, a wholesaler is able to receive a fresh meat package from slaughterhouse only within the preset time limit. If the transport is over the time limit, then automatic alerts are sent to specific roles (e.g. market control, veterinary, food safety authority) to inspect the case. With this feature TE-FOOD ensures that fresh food remains fresh when it arrives to consumers.
Food safety and logistic sensor data analysis
TE-FOOD’s own food safety sensor and smart locker hardware family (currently in prototype phase) can measure and log the collected data to blockchain for real time analysis. The sensors can supervise important environmental data in the transportation vehicle like air temperature, humidity, location (GPS), G-forces. Any suspicious value triggers alerts to specific roles in the supply chain or the food safety authority. The smart locker system, which can be opened and closed only by mobile application of specific roles ensures the security and the integrity of transport and disables the attempts to tamper the livestock and fresh food during transport.
Third party quality control
TE-FOOD provides open interfaces to receive food quality control data from different third party quality assurance organizations. The data is chained to the actual transport or package and since of the decentralized ledger technology data can not be modified later, it gives a transparent information for supply chain members consumers, and authorities as well.
Legislative consultation for authorities
The TE-FOOD team already has an established and successful experience working with governmental authorities to define the food safety and traceability regulations. This consultation activity includes defining together the minimum needed obligatory data for logistical and food safety information to be stored in blockchain, as well as our team has experience with social reconciliation and media communication.
Supply chain reputation scoring
TE-FOOD has a built in supplier rating and scoring method to build a supply chain reputation system, that gives feedback for all members in the supply chain and can be used for quality assurance information for the consumers, and a help for food safety investigations for the authorities. The scoring combines a lot of parameters from buyer rating to shipment quality.
To be continued…
TE-FOOD is going to implement blockchain, and tokenize its operation. ICO is planned for November, 2017.
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