In August 2016, the village of Kolionovo near Moscow, Russia, became the first in the world to integrate blockchain technology into its operations.
One month later, the head of the farm, Mikhail Shlyapnikov, shared the impacts so far with Forklog – including these reported benefits:
- A new form of cooperation between consumers and producers
- Nearly all openly recorded shares reserved or paid for
- Plans underway for the long-term implementation of direct supply, without intermediaries.
Separately, Shlyapnikov reported halving the price of some products, thanks to cutting out intermediaries.
The range of products available has already expanded through collaboration with neighbouring farms, adding fresh goats’ milk and cheese, mutton, rabbit, and products of fowl, fish and honey.
The farm is investing in expansion, improvements to increase quality and production rate, and risk mitigation, as well as more functions for the local cryptocurrency, Kolions, and a greater range of transaction services through Emercoin.
As this example demonstrates, blockchain technology offers food producers the chance to connect more directly with buyers. The presence of a public ledger to record transactions challenges the role of intermediaries. This promises a more efficient supply chain, as well as lower prices. Could it help to expand access to quality nutrition, and cut loss in the supply chain?
For buyers, blockchain technology could help to re-establish trust in supply chains that has suffered following scandals regarding the provenance, age and labelling of produce. In future, will each crop and food item have its own public passport, enabling it to be tracked through every stage of the supply chain? This is what the social enterprise Provenance aims to achieve.
Demand for transparency and traceability in the food system is high. The farm in Kolionovo is reportedly receiving many offers from abroad to set up franchises. Is food production on the cusp of a blockchain revolution?