The Chinese online-only insurer ZhongAn announced in June the development of a blockchain platform for the chicken supply chain. The platform logs all transactions relating to each chicken permanently on a decentralised ledger. Each chicken gets a device that records its birth, the farms it was reared in, and the factories and logistic suppliers it passed through post-slaughter. As a result, every individual chicken will have an identity and each of its steps in the supply chain will be traceable.
ZhongAn is collaborating with Wopu, an Internet of Things company that provides digital devices and mobile applications.
Food safety is one of the top five concerns of Chinese citizens. China has seen a series of food scandals including contaminated produce and supply chain fraud, which have affected trust in food safety. The complexity of supply chain makes it currently very difficult to ensure the sources and path products have travelled. Adulteration is a risk at almost every step of the supply chain. Can blockchain restore the trust of citizens in the food institutions, by guaranteeing traceability?
Traceability has the additional benefit of making supply chains visible, allowing them to be monitored and evaluated. This could help to improve efficiency, increasing shelf life and reducing wastage. Additionally, by recording each step of the chickens’ journeys, potential risks caused by environmental or social conditions can be more easily identified.
Will we see food supply chains around the world recorded on blockchain? Will food safety regulators mandate this?