As the blockchain becomes more adopted by businesses every day, specifically businesses that operate in some sort of supply chain scenario, more and more management teams are researching how a blockchain solution could improve their ability to track and trace goods from sourcing and purchasing raw materials all the way through retail product distribution.
Some basic research about implementing blockchain solutions will identify some potential issues including a lack of professional blockchain professionals in their particular niche, unknown or potentially high network transactions fees, unknown transaction latency and a potentially high cost for the development, implementation and training required to roll out a supply chain solution on the blockchain.
However, there are several blockchain solutions that have been developed, implemented and tested in multiple projects around the world. AgUnity is one of the world’s leaders in implementing food supply chain systems on the blockchain, especially for more remote farming communities.
AgUnity has developed an end-to-end track and trace supply chain solution that any organisation who is interested in dipping their toes into the blockchain ocean and can test how this solution may benefit them for a fraction of the cost of building out their own bespoke solution.
AgUnity has worked with rural farmers in Papau New Guinea, Ethiopia, Cambodia, Sierre Leone, Viet Nam and other rural farming communities around the world to provide an easy, mobile phone-based blockchain solution. The outcomes for both farmers and manufacturers has been astounding.
In the Papau New Guinea example, cocoa bean farmers experienced an increase in revenues of between 300-400%, while the manufacturers gained insight into the exact flow of raw materials from farmer to co-op to multi-step processes to final delivery. So, they could begin to recognise better quality cocoa beans vs lessor quality beans and could start to negotiate purchasing rates based on the quality of the beans. They also got to ‘know’, their suppliers at a much more granular level and could engage with them directly, via the AgUnity mobile app solution, to create better relationships across the supply chain.
By using AgUnity as an external blockchain solution provider, any organisation can implement this type of solution for tracking and tracing of raw materials, including any step-by-step processes required as part of the product production. The organisation can be reassured that the team of blockchain developers at AgUnity are very experienced, with over 6 years of building a supply chain blockchain solutions and can work with the organization to customize a solution that meets any specific requirements.
One of the best examples we’ve seen of how a blockchain solution can solve tracking and tracing is Walmart’s1 experience with tainted Romaine Lettuce.
Walmart became aware of potentially e-coli tainted lettuce in their supply chain, but the team recognized the time required to identify which specific boxes of lettuce were potentially tainted would take so long that they decided to recall ALL boxes of lettuce to avoid any potential poisonings.
“With paper-based ledgers, Yiannas mentioned that it may take his team seven days to track down where a product came from. The team has to contact the supplier, get paper records and use those records to contact the company that imported or shipped the product to Walmart’s distribution center.”
However, once a blockchain solution was implemented, tracking specific boxes would take only seconds.
“This accuracy and trust is extremely important when both public health and livelihoods are on the line. Instead of taking a week to hunt down information about potential Salmonella in a product, blockchain tracking takes only a couple of seconds.
This gives food safety teams and customers alike the ability to react quickly. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control believes that this change will help make more effective recalls.”
So, by using the efficiency provided by a blockchain supply chain solution, the time required to track a box of lettuce was reduced from 7 days to 2.2 seconds!
Costs for these projects will obviously vary greatly, as every supply chain is different. One thing we are fairly confident of is an AgUnity solution will cost much less than trying to develop a track and trace blockchain solution internally, unless an organisation already has experience blockchain developers on staff.
Even in the case where an organisation does have personnel experienced with blockchain, having a base underlying protocol, that has been tested and proven for over 5 years, would still prove to be a better option to implement compared to building a solution from the ground up.
Our very experienced team at AgUnity is ready to work with any organization interested in improving traceability, trackability, profitability and visibility into their supply chain from farm to fork, then please contact the team to learn more about how the AgUnity solution can provide the best solution for your organization’s blockchain-based supply chain tracking requirements.