Blockchain technology can support the food industry in many ways; and Liechtenstein is the perfect location to launch the next blockchain of food.
Liechtenstein is a world-renowned location for financial industry businesses and investment firms. But the country has more to offer: It is also the world leader for organic agriculture.
According to the Swiss Research Institute for Organic Agriculture and Organics International, Liechtenstein has the highest organic share of total worldwide farmland: 37.7 percent. The European market for organic agricultural products stands at more than 33.5 billion Euros.
Being the world’s capital for organic agriculture and Europe’s leading blockchain hub, Liechtenstein is the perfect place to develop a blockchain of food.
How blockchain could transform the food industry
The food industry could use blockchain mainly in three areas: supply chain traceability, food safety, and logistics.
As blockchain can enhance transparency of supply chains, consumers would be able to trace the source of their broccoli within seconds. In the event of a food safety outbreak, the technology could help to pinpoint the source quickly. This can save time, money and in extreme cases even lives.
Agricultural products often have a short shelf life and supply chain delays can cost millions of dollars. Blockchain technology can increase supply chain efficiency by creating greater connectivity between different entities and by reducing paperwork.
That said, blockchain is not going to be the solution for all problems. It can increase data transparency, but how do we know the stored data is correct? There are limitations, but there are also various use cases, especially when blockchain is combined with other technologies.
French President suggests pan-European blockchain initiatives
French President Emmanuel Macron has recently advocated the use of blockchain technology to innovate European agricultural supply chains. He pointed towards the increasing competition from China, Russia, and the United States, stating that Europe cannot afford to fall behind in technological innovation.
“Let’s do this in Europe, the avant-garde of agricultural technology, by developing tools that will track every product from raw material production to packaging and processing. The innovation is there and it must be used in the agricultural world, it must be fully used because it is at the service of shared excellence and it will serve the consumer,” he said.
This might sound futuristic, but it’s not. There are already numerous startups working on such applications.
Agri Digital is a commodity management platform that connects all supply chain participants from farmers to consumers. It allows network participants to manage contracts, deliveries, inventory, orders, invoices and payments all in one place and in real time.
OriginTrail is an open-source protocol and decentralized network that brings transparency to international supply chains. It has received the Walmart Food Safety Innovation Spark Award.
US-based Ripe.io develops a food quality network that maps the food journey to answer what’s in our food, where it comes from, and what has happened to it.
That’s just a small snapshot, there are many more such initiatives. Blockchain has just arrived in the agritech sector, the journey has just started. Liechtenstein might be a good place to go next.