In the aftermath of a recent false labeling controversy of foreign pork as British, the UK honey debacle and a plethora of other cases, the prevalence of food fraud is at an all-time high. Renowned organizations have been impacted by serious food fraud incidents over the last decade. This ‘shadow economy’ currently impacts over 10% of the global supply chain and costs the industry $40 billion annually, according to The Consumer Brands Association.
Not only the economic impact of food fraud, but also potential health consequences and knock-on, reputational damage for brands across the sector. According to NFU Mutual, 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.
Food Integrity has been a growing issue for policymaker, food systems and consumers for many years. Traceability is essential to track products from source to point of sale with information incorporated from multiple sources about the origin, storage conditions and product quality. The decentralized nature of blockchain technology can enable the global interoperability that supply chain traceability requires to create widespread and much-needed change across the industry.
Blockchain-powered track and trace solutions, being built by companies such as UNISOT, reportedly bring traceability and transparency to every step of the supply chain via digital product passports (DPP). The DPP provides information from 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. Accessed through a QR code, the company says the DPP helps consumers to make better-informed purchase decisions and offers the opportunity for supplies to demonstrate greater accountability.
UNISOT’s solution is powered by nChain blockchain technology. This enables the company to expediently roll out the application globally. This is made possible due to the scalability, integrity, availability, efficiency and stability, states UNISOT.
The nChain platform reportedly enables manufacturers to fulfil legal and ethical requirements—compliance with EC Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence (CSDD) rules, the Digital Product Passport (DPP), and the EC Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation (ESPR), proposed and obligated by the European Commission to promote transparency. According to the EC, these regulations will impact the majority of European food businesses, as customers demand more sustainable and informed choices in the coming years.