Comment: How blockchain technology can help growers to streamline the supply chain and retain more profit
Farmers and growers are the unsung heroes of everyday life, working tirelessly to feed people with high-quality fruits and vegetables despite the less-than-ideal circumstances.
In fact, according to data from the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization, the global production of fruit and vegetables was approximately two million tonnes in 2019. But high costs of intermediaries and uncertain prices can make it difficult for farmers to secure the future of their business.
Farmers and growers are still at the mercy of intermediaries taking a fat slice of their profits in 2023. Blockchain technology, however, can offer a solution to this conundrum.
Blockchain technology is a game-changer for farmers when it comes to streamlining the supply chain. With the implementation of blockchain systems, farmers can create a tamper-proof digital record of transactions that is easily accessible to all players across the supply chain, including suppliers, processors, and retailers.
This level of transparency and ease of access allows for a more efficient tracking of produce, from the farm to the consumer, minimising the chances of fraud and cutting out intermediaries in the process. This ultimately grants farmers a greater control over their profits and a more sustainable business model.
The direct peer-to peer transactions guaranteed by blockchain technology eliminate the need for intermediaries like banks and third-party payment processors, who charge high fees. This results in significant cost savings for farmers, particularly small and independent growers who may not have the same economies of scale as large commercial producers.
With blockchain technology, these small farmers can now compete on a level playing field with their larger counterparts.
Transparency is yet another crucial benefit as a permanent, public record of transactions is created and can be easily accessed by all parties involved in the supply chain. Consumers can trace the origin of their produce while farmers are able to track where their produce is going and the value it is generating, helping to build trust between farmers and consumers and promoting greater accountability.
As a result, farmers can have a full view of their produce’s journey and can be assured that they are being valued and appreciated by the end consumer.
In the case of fruit and vegetable production, blockchain technology can also help farmers to solve issues of food safety, and traceability of the produce. For example, it can be used to record the data from the farm gate to the point of sale, providing a secure and accurate trace of the produce, including the date of harvesting, and the location of the farm.
This will also help to verify the authenticity of organic and Fairtrade produce, making it more accessible to the consumers, who are increasingly interested in knowing the origin of their food.
Blockchain technology is poised to revolutionise the way we manage the global food supply chain, but there is still a need for further implementation. At AgriDex, with real-time data on food demand and supply, our platform equips farmers with the ability to predict consumer trends and make informed decisions to reduce food loss and surplus.
With an astounding one third of food produced globally going to waste, including a disproportionate number of fruits and vegetables, our platform aims to offer a solution to this pressing issue. Whether you’re a small-scale farmer or a large commercial producer, blockchain provides a path to a more efficient, sustainable, and profitable food supply chain.
Henry Duckworth is COO of AgriDex, a transparent, end-to-end blockchain supply chain platform and marketplace for the global agriculture and food market industry.