Blockchain would help coordinate the supply chain

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

The use of blockchain could help coordinate the different parts of the food and drink supply chain, according to James Flynn, founder and chief technical officer at food safety software provider Primority.

In this exclusive interview, filmed at the Institute of Food, Science and Technology’s Spring Conference at Birmingham University last month, Flynn explained the basics of blockchain and how it could be used to help the food and drink industry.

“[Food and drink firms] all have different needs and different inputs into the food ecosystem and there’s no coordination really happening, certainly here in the UK, around who’s doing what and working together on these projects,”​ said Flynn.

“We hope to raise more awareness about taking an independent, collaborative approach to the blockchain technology and what benefits that can bring to the industry.”

Boost traceability

Flynn went on to talk about the benefits of using radio-frequency identification in combination with blockchain to help boost traceability and reduce food and drink recalls.

“Traceability and recall procedures are problematic in the food sector. This technology really gives us the chance for the first time to be able to detect individual product packs using the Internet of Things in the consumer’s home,”​ he added.

“That gives us some really good safeguards against potential future food poisoning outbreaks and food safety incidents.”

Meanwhile, meat processor Cranswick has urged the entire food chain to become more transparent​ to restore public trust, predicting consumers would increasingly insist on accessing traceability information via smartphone. 

Food Safety Conference: book now

Changes in regulation and future threats are the focus of Food Manufacture’s​ Food Safety Conference, which takes place in Birmingham this June.

Leading the line-up is Nina Purcell, director of Wales and local delivery at the Food Standards Agency, who will offer an update on the move to a new risk-based approach to inspecting food and drink businesses.

Other speakers include: Andy Morling, head of food crime at the National Food Crime Unit; Dawn Welham, president of the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health; and Sue Davies, strategic policy adviser at Which?

Chaired by Campden BRI director general Professor Steven Walker, the conference will be held at etc.venues Maple House, Birmingham, on Thursday 21 June.

To find out more and book a discounted place (until 14 May), please email​ or call Elizabeth Ellis on 01293 846593. Alternatively, click here​ for further details.

Related topics Supply Chain IT

Related news

Show more

Related suppliers

1 comment

F&B enterprises from across the globe are exploring blockchain

Posted by Sumit Kumar,

I could not agree more with James. His optimism is also shared by a lot of IT decision makers at F&B companies, as well as other stakeholders in the F&B ecosystem. As a firm which tracks enterprise blockchain adoption, we have seen a steady growth in the number of new projects being announced by food producers, distributors, regulators, retailers as well as restaurant chains.

While there are several benefits that this technology brings to the F&B supply chain, the traceability of food products seems to be catching the eye of most stakeholders.

Report abuse

Follow us

Featured Jobs

View more


Food Manufacture Podcast

Listen to the Food Manufacture podcast