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Food Traceability on Blockchain: Walmart’s Pork and Mango Pilots with IBM



In response to food contamination scandals worldwide, retail giant Walmart is tackling food safety in the supply chain using blockchain technology. In 2016, it established the Walmart Food Safety Collaboration Center in Beijing and plans to invest $25 million over five years to research global food safety (Yiannas and Liu, 2017). Using IBM’s blockchain solution based on Hyperledger Fabric, Walmart has successfully completed two blockchain pilots: pork in China and mangoes in the Americas (IBM, 2017). With a farm-to-table approach, Walmart’s blockchain solution reduced time for tracking mango origins from seven days to 2.2 seconds and promoted greater transparency across Walmart’s food supply chain (Yiannas, 2017). IBM called it “complete end-to-end traceability” (McDermott, 2017). The case highlights the challenges of implementing blockchain technology in the food supply chain and the opportunities for deploying blockchain solutions throughout the global food ecosystem to increase safety and reduce waste.
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... Doing so reduces consumers' health risk perception and enhances consumers' confidence in purchasing and consuming products [24,25]. However, as cutting-edge technology, blockchain traceability is still in its infancy and is at the stage of small-scale pilot and exploration at the enterprise level [26,27]. ...
... Based on the above findings, the following policy implications can be drawn. The application of blockchain in food supply chain traceability has broad prospects, but there are still few projects involving blockchain in the field of food traceability, and most of the projects have been implemented as pilot projects [26,27]. Therefore, the development, acceptance, and application of blockchain traceability systems should be accelerated at the provincial and national levels in China, especially for the high-educated and high-income groups. ...
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This paper systematically investigates the impact of consumers’ health risk perceptions on the purchase intention of blockchain traceable fresh fruits in China. It uses online-survey data collected from four pilot cities that are part of the food traceability system in China. The ordinary least squares (OLS) and the ordered probit model was applied to examine the posited relationships. The results show that consumers’ health risk perception has a significant positive effect on the purchase intention of blockchain traceable fresh fruits. The stronger consumers’ health risk perception, the stronger their purchase intention of blockchain traceable fresh fruits. Likewise, heterogeneity exists among gender, age, income, and education in their corresponding effect of consumers’ health risk perception on blockchain traceable fresh fruit purchase intention. This suggests that male, high-aged, high-income and high-educated groups have a higher health risk perception, and therefore a higher purchase perception for blockchain traceable fresh fruits than female, low-aged, low-income and low-educated, respectively. Furthermore, family structure, consumers’ traceability cognition and purchase experience of traceable products affect the purchase intention of blockchain traceable fresh fruits. The study has several insights on the broader promotion, acceptance and development of the food traceability system and provides practical cues for policy and practice.
... Her blok doğrulandıktan sonra, işlem zincirine eklenerek tüm sürecin kalıcı bir kaydı haline gelmektedir. Gıda yörüngesinin her aşamasında (Şekil 1'de 1-6 sayıları ile tanımlanmıştır), farklı teknolojiler dahil edilir ve bu aşamaların her biri için aşağıda açıklandığı gibi blok zincirine farklı bilgiler yazılmaktadır (Kamilaris vd (Kamath, 2018;Montecchi vd., 2019). ...
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In this study, the gains to be achieved by the application of blockchain technology to the supply chain applied in the agri-food sector and whether the time and cost impact of these gains will be positive is investigated. For this purpose, first of all, literature review was conducted and then supply chain management and supply concepts were investigated. In the next stage, research on blockchain technology was conducted. Blockchain technology is a system that is successful in ensuring producer and customer trust thanks to the fact that all parties of the chain can easily access information and is protected against any cyber attack that may occur. As a result of the researches, it has been determined that the application of blockchain technology to traditional supply chain technology will give a less costly structure with the exit of more efficient and more intermediary institutions. It also ensures traceability of information in the food supply chain through blockchain technology, thus helping to improve food safety.
... Following the definition by Dietrich et al. (2021), "complex parts" means that they can experience changes in their modular composition (e.g., splitting and merging/ repackaging in our model, as shown in Figures 4 and 5), while "single parts" means that there is no change in their modular composition, but transformation exists. Existing works (Kamath, 2018;Sun et al., 2019;Zhang et al., 2020) are all limited to the single-part product structure. A holistic mapping of manufacturing supply chains should contain the mapping of raw materials, intermediate products, final products, and different events. ...
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Blockchain and distributed ledger technology (BC/DLT) provides distributed databases with decentralized governance, tamper-proof recording, high availability and non-copyable digital assets, which have made it a natural technological basis for supply chain management. In this paper, we introduce REALISTIC, a novel event-based modeling framework for supply chain networks (SCNs) that includes production processes. It extends McCarty’s Resources-Events-Agents (REA) accounting model with secure transformations, which, across the entire SCN, guarantee that certified output resources cannot be digitally produced ex nihilo, but require certified input resources of at least the same amount as what is produced. This generalizes the no-double-spend guarantee of current BC/DLT to (digital twins of) physical resources and their production. Authenticated human or robotic Internet of Things (IoT) actors digitally sign and cryptographically commit to the veracity of real-world events on an immutable database, without having to take responsibility for their aggregate consequences. User-specifiable interpretations, corresponding to queries and analytical functions in database systems, provide auditable aggregate information computed from recorded events across the entire SCN. This includes fine-grained and trustworthy tracing of final products through multiple stages of production processes, semi-finished products, quality certifications and transportation all the way back to their raw materials. We present a case study for an end-to-end coffee supply chain that tracks fine-grained and detailed information from a farmer’s coffee cherries to retail coffee bags, involving all its actors. Our model handles product provenance; auditable sustainability, quality and trade information; production processes from parchment via green to roasted coffee; product quality tests; farmer certifications; and transportation across the entire coffee supply chain. It is based on field work involving farmers, cooperatives, processors, traders, importers, and a major roasting company stretching from Colombia to Scandinavia. Its REALISTIC-based modeling is the foundation for the design of our prototype implementation, which includes Ethereum blockchain code, RDBMS-based server code and a web app client. Their source code is publicly available on GitHub.
... Blockchain technology has been used to improve the performance of a broad range of platforms in today's industries. The state of the art encompasses, to enumerate a few examples, the pharmaceutical industry [21,22], the agri-food sector [23,24] as well as healthcare [8,[25][26][27] and education services [28][29][30]. ...
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Blockchain technology is used as a distributed ledger to store and secure data and perform transactions between entities in smart grids. This paper proposes a platform based on blockchain technology and the multi-agent system paradigm to allow for the creation of an automated peer-to-peer electricity market in micro-grids. The use of a permissioned blockchain network has multiple benefits as it reduces transaction costs and enables micro-transactions. Moreover, an improvement in security is obtained, eliminating the single point of failure in the control and management of the platform along with creating the possibility to trace back the actions of the participants and a mechanism of identification. Furthermore, it provides the opportunity to create a decentralized and democratic energy market while complying with the current legislation and regulations on user privacy and data protection by incorporating Zero-Knowledge Proof protocols and ring signatures.
Increasing global and domestic food trade and required logistics create uncertainties in food safety inspection due to uncertainties in food origins and extensive trade activities. Modern blockchain techniques have been developed to inform consumers of food origins but do not provide food safety information in many cases. A novel food safety tracking and modeling framework for quantifying toxic chemical levels in the food and the food origins was developed. By integrating chemicals' multimedia environment exchange, food web, and source tracking systems, the framework was implemented to identify short-chain chlorinated paraffin (SCCP) contamination of fresh hairtail fish sold by a Walmart supermarket in Xi'an, northwestern China, and sourced in Eastern China Sea coastal waters. The framework was shown to successfully predict SCCP level with a mean of 17.8 ng g-1 in Walmart-sold hairtails, which was comparable to lab-analyzed 21.9 ng g-1 in Walmart-sold hairtails. The framework provides an alternative and cost-effective approach for safe food inspection compared to traditional food safety inspection techniques. These encouraging results suggest that the approach and rationale reported here could add additional information to the food origin tracking system to enhance transparency and consumers' confidence in the traded food they consumed.
It is well known that the introduction of Blockchain in the agri-food sector represents a digital innovation aimed at increasing business income through the reduction of production inputs (and therefore of production costs expressed at constant prices) and/or the increase of output (increase in the quantity produced and therefore in revenues expressed at constant prices). According to Schumpeter, innovation and entrepreneurship mainly depend on innovative people, their skills and knowledge. In fact, digital innovation is always aimed at increasing the competitiveness of the company and can concern an improvement in technical and economic efficiency. On an existing company structure, efficiency concerns an optimization of the variable production factors to be used in the production process (reduction of variable costs: example quantity of water used; quantity of fertilizers to be used according to seasonal trends; quantity of pesticides to be used) which have repercussions on the structure of the cost of production and therefore positive effects on the net income of the entrepreneur. In the present study after examining the economic theory of innovation, through the theory of value examined why agri-food companies should adopt innovations such as the Blockchain. The study highlights that digital innovations can be implemented by entrepreneurs according to company size and with a view to increasing the value of production and that the affirmation of innovation requires long periods of time.
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Increasingly, the apparel industry generates enormous waste and pollution causing extreme water scarcity in emerging economies, where circular economy (CE) adoption can help to alleviate these pressing issues of this century. Environmentally conscious consumers gradually switch to purchasing secondhand clothes, prompting apparel companies to reposition their brands on sustainability dimensions. Nevertheless, buying secondhand apparel comes with a risk of counterfeiting and authenticity of the products. Blockchain can be an effective technology for tracking and tracing the products to their origin if effectively implemented in the apparel industry. In this study, we identify and analyze the antecedents to Blockchain-Enabled E-commerce Platform (BEEP) adoption in secondhand apparel retailing. We conducted a survey of Indian female consumers using the theoretical constructs of consumer’s buying motives and Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT) model. The results show that buying motives (namely economic motives, hedonic motives and critical motives) and UTAUT constructs (viz. performance expectancy, facilitating conditions and attitude) explain BEEP acceptance for secondhand apparel shopping. Risk of contamination increases BEEP adoption intention and also mediates the relationship between fashion motives and intention. Blockchain technology promotes behavioral intention towards online second-hand fashion clothing shopping, and by so doing reduces waste and promotes CE.
This paper designed and implemented a blockchain-based multisignature approach to digitally transform supply chain governance in multi-tier food supply chains, particularly in a geographically dispersed beef supply chain. An exploratory case study was utilised to demonstrate the design, implementation, and evaluation of a blockchain-based multisignature approach that was deployed on the Smart Trade Networks (STN) Proof of Authority (PoA) blockchain system for data collection and validation in a beef supply chain context. The multisignature approach was implemented with a use case to track a shipment of 92 cattle and meat products through key events from farm to food service. The use-case deployment records approximately 6000 data points registered on the STN PoA blockchain system. The real-case deployment illustrates the capability of the blockchain-based multisignature approach to digitally improve beef supply chain governance by enabling a whole-of-chain transparency and trustworthy information sharing and supports supply chain professionals to have a better understanding of how to unlock blockchain potential for supply chain transformation.
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Blockchain is a distributed, immutable ledger technology initially developed to secure cryptocurrency transactions. Following its revolutionary use in cryptocurrencies, blockchain solutions are now being proposed to address various problems in different domains and is currently one of the most "disruptive" technologies. This paper presents a scoping review of the scientific literature for exploring the current research area of blockchain applications in the agricultural sector. The aim is to identify the service areas of agriculture where blockchain is used, the blockchain technology used, the data stored in it, its combination with external databases, the reason it is used, for which products, as well as the level of maturity of the respective approaches. The study follows the PRISMA-ScR methodology. The purpose of conducting the scoping review is to identify the evidence of this field and clarify the key concepts. The literature search was conducted in April 2021 using Scopus and Google Scholar, and a systematic selection process identified 104 research articles for detailed study. Our findings show that in the field, although still in the early stages, with the majority of studies in the design phase, several experiments have been made, so a significant percentage of the work is in the implementation or piloting phase. Finally, our research shows that the use of blockchain in this domain mainly concerns the integrity of agricultural production records, the monitoring of production steps, and the monitoring of products. However, other varied and remarkable blockchain applications include incentive mechanisms, circular economy, data privacy, product certification, and reputation systems.
Blockchain could be used for a wide range of supply chain problems, like difficult maintaining records and stock monitoring. Like an option to centralizing servers least subject to corruption and more organized. This is how Blockchain in supply chain business can be helpful. There are also components of their supply chains for big corporations and organizations. As a result, even multinational companies could almost not keep records of any record. The lack of transparency contributes to costs problems and consumer services that dilute brand name at the end of the day. With the aid of sensing devices and RFID tags, recording and provenance monitoring in Blockchain-based supply chains are easier to access because product information might. Blockchain is able to track down a product's background from its roots to where it is now. In particular, this form of reliable origin detection can be used for any aspect of the supply chain to prevent attacks. We develop an Advanced Blockchain Management Framework in which we analyse commodity failure throughout transit and in particular emphasis on the supply chain management for fossil energy.
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China has become a leading importer of pork as its hog production costs have grown. China-U.S. comparisons show that hog producers in China face higher feed and labor costs than U.S. producers, while costs of feeder pigs fluctuate from year to year in both countries. Efficiency of feed use has improved marginally in China, but it remains below that of U.S. farms. Rapid wage growth is spurring China's transition toward larger-scale farms, but labor productivity remains low in hog production. With rising production costs, constraints on land use, and stricter environmental regulations in China, the country is likely to remain a large importer of pork.
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This paper describes the introduction and application of a unique integral supply chain approach to mango industry development in Pakistan. Using this system based approach, the fruits of two promising mango cultivars ('Sindhri' and 'Chaunsa') were monitored from tree to retail outlets. Fruit quality was analyzed at all levels in the supply chain (on the tree, at harvest, at the packing shed, at wholesale markets and at retail outlets) to determine the extent of fruit quality losses at each stage. For every 100 fruits on the tree at harvest, only 32 and 25 fruits of 'Sindhri' and 'Chaunsa' respectively reached retail outlets at a quality level acceptable to the market. Sap burn, bruising, physical damage, diseases and some other disorders were identified as the major causes of quality loss with variable impact at different stages of the supply chain. Most losses were caused by poor methods of harvesting and poor transportation from the packing shed to wholesale markets. The integral supply chain approach has been adopted to address these and other factors currently limiting the competitiveness of mango businesses in Pakistan. Demonstration mango supply chains have been established, comprising commercial participants who are willing to explore how the current situation of the industry can be improved. Mango postharvest quality improvement, domestic and export market research and information and technology transfer through capacity building activities are being used as tools to increase the ratio of better quality mangoes reaching consumers. This study is important because determination of losses throughout the chain and managing them using an integral supply chain approach, in developing countries, has not been reported in the horticultural literature before.
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