Blockchain in the Food Industry: Separating Myth from Reality

An interesting, objective, and informative description of Blockchain, what it can do and what it cannot do appeared in Food Online. The editor Sam Lewis asked questions about blockchain and got answers from Melanie Nuce, SVP Corporate Development at GS1 US. In it, Melanie emphasized that “It is impossible to implement blockchain if you still operate in data silos. the food industry understands the need to share product data with trading partners because of the traceback requirements to support product recalls outlined in FSMA several years ago.” Blockchain brought to the forefront the need to automate recordkeeping and improve traceability. One cannot implement blockchain without visibility of the supply chain. She said, “That data is consistent from supplier to manufacturer to distributor to retailer or operator, and can be executed without human intervention, which makes the GS1 System of Standards harmonious with blockchain.” Blockchain is sometimes overhyped, without sufficient emphasis on the decentralized data sharing with trading partners. Melanie stated” The reality is that blockchain is just one avenue for fulfilling a business goal — it cannot replace best business practices or be a company’s main innovation tool. For example, data managers are already well aware blockchain will do nothing to solve existing data quality issues. If trading partners don’t make a serious effort to clean up supply chain data and change their business processes for sustaining quality data, they just won’t get to a place where blockchain serves them.” “Specialized barcodes, called GS1-128 barcodes, already provide the ability to encode traceability information, such as expiration date, and the batch or lot that the product came from at the case level. Without this basic supply chain visibility, blockchain will not be effectively delivered.” @
Blockchain In The Food Industry: Separating Myth From Reality

Over the past year, Melanie Nuce, SVP Corporate Development at GS1 US, has worked to raise awareness of blockchain for supply chain applications. In…

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