Rising consumerism has pushed businesses in the food and beverage space to stock their products on the market shelf throughout the year, irrespective of where or how they source it. This leads to a scenario where food supply chains rarely remain localized, but are instead becoming quite international, leading to a lengthening list of stakeholders spread out globally within a value chain.
Such a scenario also makes provenance tracking very hazy, as the complexities involved in tracking products or the flow of data from the farm to the customer’s table is hazy at best and often too opaque to glean insights into its movement through the supply chain.
“It’s hard to pull data, hard to really get to the bottom of what a supplier provides, and which retailer or consumer is holding on to a specific last batch in a product line,” said Pratik Soni, the founder and CEO of Omnichain, a blockchain-based supply chain technology startup. “The challenge is to get visibility through a singular platform where a user can get visibility without sifting through a bunch of Excel files, trade customs paperwork, purchase orders, or receipts.”
Soni contended that the process of provenance tracking is complicated as the supply chain is flooded with several data streams and stakeholders’ complexities, making it hard to answer simple questions on origin and lineage.
“The number one concern for data transparency is essentially data validation. How can I, as a consumer, be sure that a product is truly organic, non-GMO, gluten-free, or kosher? Without lots of paper trails – both physical and digital – it is really hard to come to a conclusion on a product’s authenticity,” said Soni.
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