The USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service is looking to boost supply chain of organic produce and has suggested to its department to deploy distributed ledger technology (DLT) for more visibility and accountability.
Burgeoning consumer interest in consuming healthy cuisine is revolutionizing the organic food industry with never-seen-before demand to boost supply chain, especially after outbreaks of health-related crises in recent years. Today, the rapidly growing market boasts health-conscious shoppers and multiple layers of vendors, shippers, and distributors.
DLT to boost supply chain of organic products
Naturally, strengthening its supply chain is the need of the hour and a massive leap towards sustainable agriculture. According to USDA, DLT will play a critical role in increasing the overall traceability of the organically sourced products and boost supply chain.
With enhanced interoperability, DLT can enable secure, transparent, and real-time traceability in highly convoluted and segregated supply chains. It also gives the stakeholders an ability to withhold confidential information by restricting access.
Implementation will need time
And while this can be considered a massive win for blockchain technology, USDA does mention some of the barriers it would need to overcome to pilot this project. According to the report, since the developments surrounding DLT are still in its nascent stages, it will take time to implement this technology and monitor its usability.
Possibilities with DLT are endless, but so are the hurdles in its widespread adoption. Besides the lack of connectivity in rural areas, there is inadequate information or growing misconceptions regarding the new technology, which will need to be addressed first. We would also need to take a look at the implementation and distribution costs before we finalize it.
Citing use cases with blockchain
Although the report does not explicitly mention how blockchain technology fits in the overall picture, it cites examples of popular pilot programs undertaken by some of the largest retailers like Walmart and Nestle, which turned to blockchain to supply chain.
While Walmart uses blockchain to track supplies of mangoes and pork, Nestle tested a public blockchain for strengthening the supply chain of infant milk. USDA welcomes participation from individuals and entities that do not need certification from USDA programs to review their blockchain proposition to boost supply chain and comment on its practicability and ease of use.