Interestingly, so far, 2018 has been a year of good health for us…at least for Fintalk! Among the biggest concerns in front of food supply chain today is food contamination and food spoilage. Evidently from National Geographic’s data, almost a third of the food produced globally is wasted; which works out to approximately 2 billion tonnes of food that never made it to the plate.
With the health and fitness buzz getting stronger with the hour, even the end consumer has become more quizzing about the health and safety implications of the food they consume. In this globalized world, where fresh food changes more hands before plated food makes it to the stomach, with the aid of technology and real time analytics, it has been made easier than ever to monitor and safeguard the quality of food.
This sector today, more than ever, is ripe for innovation. Knowing this, many technology companies have already made it to the arena and are battling to solve unique problem statements. Arviem is offering IoT-based supply chain visibility solutions that help farmers track the location of their produce real-time and monitor their condition. These network-connected smart sensors help monitor the environment of produce-in-transit; in turn receiving objective information on indicators such as the temperature or humidity inside a shipping container or truck at a given point.
In India, Tech Mahindra’s FarmtoFork is an end to end supply chain visibility solution for fresh produce, meat and frozen foods, milk and dairy products, package foods, beverages and confectionaries. Their service integrates the power of telematics, sensors, and various telecommunication technologies to provide a comprehensive solution where mission critical data is captured and sent to business analytics servers.
Further, companies like Zest Labs are using both IoT sensor technology and Blockchain to create a fresh food management solution that concentrates on consistent food quality, reduced waste, and improved food safety. The company has created a single freshness metric that they refer to as ZIPR code based on a number of data points like the growing location of the produce, its type, processing conditions – all enabling perceptively improved decision making. In the U.S., supermarket chain Hy-Vee is working with Zest Labs to help customers ensure freshness of their food.
Tech giant IBM recently started working with Walmart and Chinese retailer JD.com to create the Blockchain Food Safety Alliance. Ten food suppliers and retailers - Dole, Driscoll’s, Golden State Foods, Kroger, McCormick and Company, McLane Company, Nestlé, Tyson Foods, Unilever and Walmart have signaled their intention to collaborate for this initiative.
For as long as we know, just a set of paper certificates were required to prove freshness and quality of the produce but the use of this technology will now be able to substantiate the claim.
Credits : Akhil Handa, K Venketeswarlu, Aparna Anand