On the Benefits and Challenges of Blockchains for Managing Food Supply Chains

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Abstract

The expansion of the food industry, both on the national and the global stages, has resulted in complex collaborative networks and supply chains. The management culture adopted for food supply chains has an impact on the quality of the end product and the vitality of the involved businesses. In this report, we focus on the use of blockchain technology, and distributed ledgers in general, for managing supply chains in the food and agricultural sectors. We explore the challenges with which typical management systems are faced, such as food safety, food fraud and inefficient processes, as well as ethical aspects like fair trade, animal welfare and environmental impact of food production. The use of blockchain-based systems for managing a supply chain offers significant benefits, such as faster and more reliable traceability. Our analysis, involving Small and Medium Enterprises from Denmark, highlights that SMEs could benefit from blockchain-based systems that encourage fair trade and authenticity documentation, expose good practices and decrease managing costs. However, due to lack of important policies and standards and due to the limited understanding of the technology itself, its large-scale adoption is at the moment immature. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of the Science of Food and Agriculture
Volume101
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)2175-2181
ISSN0022-5142
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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