Science to Business Session: Blockchains in agrifood, 13 Oct

From improved food safety to fair pay for local farmers, new developments in blockchain technology will open up horizons for applications in the agrifood sector. Exciting opportunities, challenges too, will be revealed and discussed during the Science to Business Session, Blockchains in Agrifood, Food Valley Expo, 13 October. 

“Blockchains are digital ledgers, shared online among a group of users without a central server or centralized authority”, says Dick Tulp, Director Tax at Deloitte, the consultancy agency organizing the Blockchains session. “Users can add new information and transactions, but cannot edit existing historical information; this assures that the data are reliable and can be audited.”

Mutual trust
Blockchain technology has rapidly emerged in the past few years, thanks to exponential increases in computing power and internet reach, reliability and speed. Until now, most applications were limited to the financial sector, with banks especially interested in using the technology for international payments or trade. The first example of a blockchain is the Bitcoin online payment system.

Tracking and tracing
But blockchain technology can also be very valuable in agrifood, where it can be used to increase transparency and reliability across food chains. “Imagine tracking and tracing of certified food products, such as organically produced vegetables or kosher meals”, illustrates Jacob Boersma, Manager Technology Enabled Solutions at Deloitte. It could also be applied to combat brand counterfeiting. “In the longer term the blockchain could facilitate decentralization of the whole food-supply chain, which would allow direct payment of local farmers without the intervention of centralized ‘middlemen’.”

Opportunities and challenges
Blockchains in Agrifood will explore these and more opportunities, and examine the challenges that will accompany them. Actual case studies from across various industries will be presented, and the audience will be invited to contribute their own ideas.

Food Valley Expo
Join the Session Blockchains in Agrifood, immediately after lunch at the Food Valley Expo, 13 October.