Blockchain technology has disrupted several industries, but the supply chain industry is one of the markets that have benefitted the most with the onset of this next-generation technology. Blockchain has been implemented by several industry giants, the latest being the U.S. department of agriculture (USDA).
According to a recent report, the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has proposed the implementation of Blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT) based solutions to trace its supply chain for organic products.
The report states that the agency believes electronic tracking with the likes of DLT will play an “essential role” in the supply chain.
“DLT can provide secure, verifiable, transparent, and near-instantaneous tracking at the item level in complex supply chains, DLT can also protect confidential business information and trade secret information by automatically restricting sensitive information to authorized entities,” the report noted.
But the agency acknowledged that the implementation of new technologies like DLT would require some time for the development of the underlying infrastructure before being able to enter the organic food industry.
“Barriers to widespread adoption of an electronic tracking system include inadequate access to technology and connectivity in rural areas, acceptance of universal electronic standards (interoperability), and distribution of costs,” the proposal added.
No names were mentioned in the report, but the USDA referred to several pilkot programs that were already operational, including Walmart’s Blockchain traceability system to track mangos and pork, Nestle’s public testing of its milk supply chain, and U.S.-based Bumble Bee Foods tracking yellowfin tuna from Indonesia using Blockchain.
For now, businesses, individuals, or organizations that are a part of the global organic agricultural product supply chain and are not required to be certified under USDA’s existing program can review the proposal and submit comments before October 5.
Blockchain adoption on the rise
Earlier this month, Coke One North America (CONA), a partner of the largest U.S.-based Coca-Cola bottling company, announced that it is set to use DLT to enhance transparency and reduce friction in “cross-organization supply chain transactions.”
Last month, Mercedes-Benz make Daimler announced that it completed a proof-of-concept with Ocean protocol, a blockchain-based data-sharing platform, to enable Daimler to monetize data streams within the company and across its supply chain.