Blockchain technology may be the next issue in food

When we plan our editorial calendars, we try to specify the timing of major events in our industry so that our coverage is timely.

So, after planning the May 2018 issue and seeing that the FSMA’s Sanitary Transportation of Food (STF) rule would be effective for small and MD-sized businesses a month ago, I thought STF would probably be some person wanting to know more about the industry.

What I didn’t plan on a year ago is how much experts in this field want to talk about blockchain technology. Looks like I’ve received an email with the word blockchain at least once a week in the last few months. While the phrase Internet of Things is not nearly as ubiquitous, it is certainly a new buzzword.

I still don’t have the sharpest way to describe blockchain technology, as I did for IoT but I would describe it as having a Facebook page as your toaster and posting status updates in your fridge. All I can do now is quote other definitions that describe it as a digital, distributed sector.

When I started interviewing people for STF articles and the blockchain started coming, I was really familiar with it in the case of Bitcoin, which uses technology to fuel cryptocurrency payment systems. To get better management on all of these things, I went to someone I know who owns Bitcoin আমাদের the IT support admin in our office. We had an hour-long conversation about this trend, and when I talked about the blockchain in terms of food safety, he got a spark in his eye and said, “Yeah, I can definitely see how effective it is.”

I met with the same enthusiasm during interviews with several experts who are applying blockchain technology to ensure food security throughout the supply chain. Experts envision it as a real-time end-to-end communication and verification of food safety equipment suppliers, which makes all the information used across the supply chain visible from manufacturer to retailer by all parties.

Blockchain is a transformative technology to look forward to in the next few years. Some of the others are artificial intelligence and mixed (virtual and augmented) realities, both of which are particularly effective in the context of plant management.

If you’re thinking, “Yeah, these ideas aren’t so new,” I hear you say what the game can change is the sophistication of the technologies and how they will be used in modern production facilities and how they will be used.

Also, another important thing to consider is that this 5G is coming soon and it could open up a lot of opportunities to connect people, tools and equipment.