Tasty: The Rise Of Blockchain Food & Beverage

Author:Mr Mark Adair
Profession:Mason Hayes & Curran
 
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Background to blockchain

As a basic level, blockchain technology creates a shared digital ledger of transactions that a number of participants manage, with no central entity controlling. Blockchain has many advantages beyond use in cryptocurrencies.

Its ability to track an asset in an efficient and reliable way makes it ideal for recording business processes or movements in a supply chain. The decentralised nature of blockchain, removing any intermediary, can also lower the costs of transactions and make them vastly faster to execute. Blockchain is potentially safer and secure than traditional databases. It encodes a transaction using cryptography, which permanently inscribes it on the ledger. This makes it difficult to tamper with. It promotes integrity and transparency as past transactions are unchangeable and all participants who have access to the blockchain (which can be set to public or private) can view and verify it.

Advantages of blockchain in food and beverage industry

The following are three examples of businesses that are currently use blockchain technology in the food and beverage industry:

Reliability & high-quality data: enhancing end-customer experience

One of the attractive features of blockchain for the food and beverage sector is that as it is reliable and hard to tamper with, it can help to build trust with a customer in relation to a product. Downstream Beer is a craft beer produced by Ireland Craft Beers. ICB has implemented blockchain in an effort to better connect with its customers by emphasising the authenticity and transparency of its product. ICB's customers can install an app that allows them to follow the journey of the beer's four ingredients, tracked using blockchain, as the ingredients make their way from the farm to the customer's beer. Blockchain keeps high quality data secure through cryptographic techniques that make it harder to falsify, which in turns means the customer can rely on what it sees. As consumers across the globe take a more involved approach to how the products they consume are made and demand visibility of the ingredients, blockchain offers companies the opportunity to harness this interest in reliability, and to make it a feature, and indeed a selling point, of the product.

Safety & security: food safety and traceability

Another application of blockchain that is of particular appeal to the food and beverage industry is the possibility to trace the movement of ingredients throughout the...

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