A startup is using blockchain technology to collect and share data on entire food supply chains.
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Combining blockchain technology with the Internet of Things (IoT), startup Ripe.io aims to transparently track food products to provide real time data on food safety and delivery. The company has recently secured 2.4 million USD and is looking to develop a global system that can serve the entire food industry. They are essentially offering to digitise the food supply chain.
One of Ripe.io’s first forays into food was the Internet of Tomatoes, a collaborative IoT project that collected a wealth of data from farms and applied it to growing a better tomato. Ripe.io hopes to apply a similar system using sensors and blockchain to create a new level of transparency between growers, distributors, labs, restaurants and others. Blockchain could allow different parts of the food supply chain to share information in what Ripe.io calls a ‘food bundle.’ A food bundle is a cluster of data related to a food type or product. Using blockchain, this bundle of information could then be shared securely with all of the participants in the chain. For example, a cattle rancher in Australia or a beef buyer for Tesco.
Ripe.io already has partners on board, including Danish shipping conglomerate Maersk and Chicago food-innovation hub Relish Works. Its platform could allow the entire supply chain to securely share information on verifying quality, transportation, taste and food safety.
Blockchain technology has already been used in all sorts of different industries, including advertising, journalism, social media and now, the food industry. The ability to harness quality food data with IoT systems and store it in a trustworthy place (with blockchain) will allows for restaurants, grocery stores, and other food suppliers to better optimise to consumer preferences.