Is Blockchain magic? Understand the technology that promises food safety and traceability

Thanks to high-profile pilot programs from the likes of Walmart, along with positive results from early users in transportation and other sectors of the industry, produce dealers are keeping an eye on the emerging technology known as “blockchain.”

Experts predict blockchain will impact our industry within three to five years and offer an informative look ahead at the technology and its uses.

“Blockchain is in the very, very early stages, and there’s a lot of hype, but this is not just pilots and wishful thinking,” says Minos Athanassiadis, director at HarvestMark-Trimble Navigation, a consultancy for traceability and quality control management, headquartered in Sunnyvale, CA.

He says HarvestMark-Trimble has been using blockchain for about two years and that at least 40 percent of transportation companies are already testing blockchain in some form.

Jeff Roster is vice president of retail strategy at IHL Group, a technology and research firm that works with retailers.

“Blockchain makes sense and it will be adopted,” Roster says. “The question is when. Be prepared, because it could ramp up really quickly.”

Ed Treacy, vice president of supply chain for Newark, DE-based Produce Marketing Association, agrees. “Three years from now, we won’t be talking about pilots.”

That said, now is the time for companies large and small to get up to speed on blockchain: what it is, what it does, and how it will affect the perishables supply chain.

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This is an excerpt from the most recent Produce Blueprints quarterly journal. Click here to read the full article.

Karen Raugust is a freelance writer who covers business topics ranging from retailing to the food industry.

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