Traceability and blockchain technology
The production, delivery and sale of food is often characterised by complex supply chains involving many stakeholders who are often geographically dispersed.
This complexity together with the need to assure both safety and quality places increasing demands on traceability systems.
Historically and from a regulatory perspective, traceability within the agri-food supply chain involves a ‘one-up, one down’ approach. For example, within the European Union, Article 18 of Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 (General Food Law) requires food business operators to be able to both identify from whom they have procured raw materials as well as the food businesses whom they have been supplied with a particular product. The regulation goes on to require that relevant information be made available to the Competent Authority on demand and that any product is suitably identified to permit traceability. Interestingly, the law establishes the minimum requirements from a public safety point of view but does not require a food business to demonstrate the traceability of raw materials through its own production system. The comm ...