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Exploring the Implications of Blockchain Technology in Fresh Produce

Exploring the Implications of Blockchain Technology in Fresh Produce

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Exploring the Implications of Blockchain Technology in Fresh Produce

Oct 13, 2021

John McCurdy
Assorted colorful fruits.

While blockchain technology first broke into the public consciousness with the financial success of Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies, new applications for this emergent platform are now being developed and implemented in industries like food and beverage. The implications are particularly significant for the fresh produce sector, where time is of the essence and food safety is a primary concern.

Adoption is increasing rapidly, with more than 20% of the top global companies having committed to deploying blockchain solutions by 2025 and leaders such as Kraft Heinz, Tyson and Nestlé already on board. The technology can unlock improvement across operational functions and represents a significant step forward in supply chain management capabilities.

Here, we’ll examine two key characteristics of blockchain technology and their impacts on critical concerns for fresh produce businesses.

A Single Secure Ledger Improves Traceability, Efficiency and Inventory Management

As a fully digital platform for information exchange that updates in real time, blockchain technology’s unified and completely secure ledger facilitates the creation of an uncompromisingly accurate and resilient supply chain. Considering how many aspects of food and beverage operations rest on the integrity and accessibility of data, there are several areas in which this can have a positive impact.

First, there’s traceability, which is improved by blockchain through the use of automatic information collection and end-to-end visibility. When the process of record-keeping is entrusted to devices built for that purpose and all partners along the supply chain share the same record, the accuracy and accessibility of your facts and figures can be assured.

Industry leaders are eager to unlock these advantages, as evidenced by 22% of respondents indicating that traceability via blockchain will be a priority in the coming year according to IDC’s Global Food and Beverage Trends and Strategic Insights 2021 commissioned by Aptean.

Inventory management efforts can also benefit from the implementation of blockchain management. Because material and product details are logged every step of the way and automatically imported upon receipt via the scanning of a smart label, your fresh produce business will always know exactly what’s in stock, what’s in transit and what needs to be ordered or shipped.

One final facet of fresh produce businesses that stands to gain from the deployment of blockchain solutions is efficiency. With your staff relieved of the responsibility of manual reporting processes, they can spend less time on paperwork and more on important production-related tasks that affect output and revenue.

Smart Contracts Ensure Optimal Food Quality and Customer Satisfaction

Blockchain technology can also help ensure excellent product quality and consumer experience by utilizing smart contracts. These are digital implementations of agreements between businesses with regards to the storage conditions and critical characteristics of fresh produce.

RFID sensors synced with the unified blockchain ledger allow for automatic readings of temperature, humidity and other factors important to preserving fruit and vegetable freshness. That way, your organization will know if your predetermined requirements aren’t met by suppliers or transport providers, helping you weed out items that aren’t fit for store shelves and foodservice deliveries and thereby protecting brand reputation.

You’ll be able to rest easy with that level of transparency, knowing that your products are handled with due care. Such a setup also encourages accountability between supply chain partners, which can lead to reduced waste from spoiled goods and botched shipments. As a result, your operations are both more profitable and more sustainable.

Integrating with Your Fresh Produce Enterprise Resource Planning Solution

While the utility of blockchain in fresh produce is undeniable, implementing it with your existing enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution may simply not be a possibility. It is still a relatively new technology, and not all systems are designed to facilitate its use as of yet.

Aptean’s solutions are different, though. We have the advantage of our partnership with Microsoft and their Dynamics 365 platform, which can integrate use of blockchain for data management. We also have in-depth knowledge of the fresh produce sector, with many leading providers among our clients, and can help implement our best-in-class Aptean Fresh Produce ERP at your organization.

We pride ourselves on reliability, with 99.5% uptime and, in the case of increasingly popular cloud deployments, redundant offsite servers and automatically applied updates. Our support teams are always ready to troubleshoot any issues you might encounter.

Want to hear more about what Aptean’s advanced systems can do for your fresh produce company? Take a moment to reach out to us today.

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