Farm-to-fork seafood traceability in quest of enabling food safety
Timestamp. Transparency. Preventing double-spending on farms. Seafood traceability is finishing its job in ensuring quality from farm to table.
With innovation, seafood traceability will help importers, customs officials, retailers, and others trace seafood traded globally. This solution can shed light on production modes with significant environmental and social impacts. Let’s consider the following shrimp traceability example.
The pressing need for a shrimp traceability system
As the world population grows, depending on fishing alone will not produce enough shrimp needed to supply. In the US alone, shrimp is the most consumed seafood with about 4 lbs per capita, about 25% of the seafood consumed in the US per capita.
So most countries are turning to aquaculture to avoid dependence on fishing. Shrimp farms have continuously formed around the world, and more and more countries are farming and exporting Shrimp and other aquatic products. About 90% of the shrimp consumed in the US is imported, creating a shrimp supply chain worth about $ 5–6 billion annually.
However, the shrimp supply chain is facing many challenges, most commonly:
- The highly fragmented and small size of the pond with a small amount of harvest each time from each pond: This fragment leads to the difficulty in collecting, classifying, and testing shrimp quality.
- A large number of transaction points associates with the supply chain: To reach consumers, a batch of shrimp will probably have to go through a lot of intermediaries checking, many procedures of each inspection to ensure that the quality of the shipment is maintained.
- Farmers do not have an appreciation for quality products in terms of price. The cost of production of shrimp farm units has been significantly reduced when the farmers start to use veterinary medications, antibiotics, and possibly fungicides, which FDA has forbidden for human consumption. These medications can cause aplastic anemia and cancer include direct human health risks and even the antibiotic resistance-superbug evolution.
Besides, targeted inspections of imported shrimp for illicit antibiotics have been gradually strengthened by the FDA. Per year, hundreds of shipments test positive. FDA Import Warnings are provided for both individual firms and some countries worldwide. Import Warnings result in detention for potential shipments without physical inspection.
However, this situation can be solved with a seafood traceability solution powered by distributed ledger technology.
Blockchain-backed traceability for shrimp in quest of enabling transparency
“When consumers find out that their grocers don’t know where or how the seafood they sell was produced, there will be considerable blowback,” noted Aaron McNevin, Global Network Lead for Aquaculture, World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
Therefore, many organizations are taking the effort to provide an immutable record of the chain of custody through a blockchain platform. This solution is the best security measure out there to ensure the product is segregated in a way that maintains its proper identity.
However, it should be emphasized that customers will buy products they trust, where they trust. Besides, the majority of consumers will not scan barcodes to check each product they buy. What they put on the scale is their trust in the shops and supermarkets where they buy. Therefore, supermarkets, where direct customer contact will be the target of using blockchain-backed seafood traceability most frequently.
akaChain initiatives on developing blockchain traceability solutions provide near real-time and immutable ledger of food products to verify supply chain history. Our platform makes it easier to safely and transparently sharing data between various parties. This technology can be used to validate the certification of member companies’ shrimp, ensuring that the shrimps are free of antibiotics and qualified to the required standards.
Walmart blockchain on exporting shrimp from India and Bumble Bee Tuna are two among other projects besides blockchain traceability for shrimp.
If you are interested in exploring more on the process to adopt blockchain traceability for the seafood industry, leave your contact information or contact us right away for a free consultancy.
akaChain is backed by FPT Software, a globally leading technology, and IT services provider. It is an end-to-end, permissioned, multi-chain network based on the Hyperledger Fabric. Since Establishment in September 2018, akaChain’s product has assisted many enterprises, from SMEs to Fortune 500 firms, to transform with distributed ledger technology. The company provides a broad range of permissioned blockchain-based products and services in multiple sectors, including retail, supply chain, banking and finance, insurance, shopping mall management, etc. to transform with its distributed ledger technology. For more information, please visit https://blog.akachain.io/.
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