Could blockchain hold the key for combating food fraud?

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

Digital product passports offer a simple way to access the entire history of a product, from 'farm to fork'
Digital product passports offer a simple way to access the entire history of a product, from 'farm to fork'

Related tags Food fraud blockchain

Blockchain-powered track and trace operations could hold the key to tackling fraud in the food and drink supply chain, according to auditing and supply chain specialist Unisot.

In order to bring traceability and transparency to every part of the supply chain, Unisot suggested the use of digital product passports (DPPs).

The DPP provides information – including raw materials, components, manufacturing locations, cold chain integrity, accreditation, certifications, carbon footprint and waste recycling – compiled from the various actors across a supply chain to both manufacturers and end users.

QR Code

This can then be accessed by scanning a QR code on the product – with this information stored on the blockchain, consumers and manufacturers can observe every part of that products journey through the food chain.

Stephan Nilsson, co-Founder of Unisot, said: “We felt the time was right to offer a blockchain solution to the food industry to help them verify products entering the consumer market. Food suppliers need to demonstrate transparency across the global supply chain, via a standardized system to track and authenticate products.

“Manufacturers and consumers have been demanding this for years, with the DPP facilitating the ability to simply scan a label and view data via the application.”

Global food fraud

Further development on blockchain-powered track and trace systems follow in the aftermath of a number of high-profile food fraud cases in recent years, that have cost the industry about USD $40bn annually.

While the economic impact is plain top see, there is also potential health consequences and knock-on, reputational damage for food and drink brands. Research by insurance firm NFU Mutual found that 72% of consumers believe there to be an issue with food fraud in the UK and only 12% have confidence in the European food chain.

Meanwhile, following the news of recent food fraud incidents, such as the event which recently impacted retailer Booths, Alison Johnson, managing director at Food Forensics outlines three ways of preventing food fraud occurring in your supply chain.

Related topics Food Safety

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