An organic fruit juice brand, for instance, could include a QR code on its packaging. Customers could scan the code with their smartphone and instantly see everything that went into making that specific item: what fertilizer was used to grow the apples, what orchard they were picked from, and where and how they were processed. Similarly, an organic milk supplier could offer a lot number search on its website—consumers could type in the number on their carton, and buyers could see what dairy their milk came from and how those cows were raised.
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Explore This IssueApril/May 2020
With product history verifiable through blockchain, consumers wouldn’t have to take labels at face value. No matter their reason for buying organic—personal health, environmental responsibility, or animal welfare concerns—they’d feel truly informed and confident in their purchases.
Traceability and Transparency with Blockchain
Using distributed ledger technology for the food and beverage supply chain is more than just a theoretical solution. But with major corporations such as Walmart, Starbucks, and Nestlé announcing blockchain pilot programs, it’s easy for small and midsize businesses to assume this technology isn’t within their budget.
However, distributed ledger software is now available through a Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) delivery model. This means there is no expensive infrastructure to purchase or upgrade. BaaS platforms only require a device with an internet browser and easily integrate with existing supply chain management systems. These subscription-based, out-of-the box solutions are ready to deploy with little implementation time or costs required.
Frozen treat brand Ruby Rockets’ work with blockchain is a great example of BaaS success. The company is committed to using only organic or natural fruits and vegetables, with no added sweeteners or artificial food colorings in its nutritious snack foods. To support this commitment, Ruby Rockets needed to offer full transparency into the lifecycles of its products and ingredients. Tracking this information, however, was a time-consuming, complicated process of piecing together spreadsheets, paper records, and certificates of analysis.
Ruby Rockets implemented a BaaS solution, integrating the platform with its existing accounting system, purchase orders, inventory management system, and online shop. In fewer than 90 days, Ruby Rockets had a system to track products upstream and downstream. Now, the company can quickly trace ingredient origins and log processing information, ensuring product integrity and compliance with USDA standards. With BaaS, Ruby Rockets has truly delivered on its promise of creating natural, organic snacks for its customers and their families.
Backed by data on the distributed ledger, there is no doubt about the integrity of a “USDA-Certified 100-Percent Organic” label. As blockchain technology adoption rises among farmers, suppliers, and food manufacturers, the organic food supply chain will only strengthen, and that means healthier food and beverages for consumers today, and a sustainable future for tomorrow.