A partnership by distributed ledger technology (DLT) firm IOTA and Primority, a digital food safety management company, may provide an answer for those living with food allergies. The partnership will allow consumers to track supply chain ingredients in foods through a simple app.
Finding the actual source of foods can prove challenging. Most products are sold after a long series of supply chain connections — from harvesting to processing to manufacturing to packaging.
At each step of the process, new allergens can be introduced which often go unreported. Consumers may read warning labels and find no reported allergens, only to discover that they were introduced earlier in the supply chain.
IOTA’s DLT Tangle technology creates an immutable way for supply chain details to be communicated to consumers without risk of change. The DLT creates a trackable and immutable supply chain footprint for each product. This means that consumers can know with confidence what they’re ingesting.
Primority is hoping to create an app that will allow consumers to simply scan a barcode and discover the supply chain details. Consumers will have a complete awareness of the supply chain process at their fingertips.
As with most DLT solutions, the biggest hurdle is not the technology itself but the adoption curve to making them usable. While an immutable supply chain data set would be immensely helpful, success depends on complete adoption by all parties for all products.
This massive undertaking requires farmers, processors, manufacturers, and distributors to all buy into the process for each product. For the app to be truly useful, it would require this type of reporting for the vast majority of consumer products on grocery store shelves.
Such adoption struggles have been the bane of many initial coin offerings (ICOs) of the cryptocurrency boom in 2017. A good idea for using blockchain technology is simply not enough to ensure success.
Necessity: The Mother of Invention?
That being said, the need for some kind of food tracking system is clear. With allergies continually growing in frequency and danger, the food preparation industry must determine ways to alert consumers.
While other legacy solutions have been proposed, this new partnership using DLT may prove the most straightforward. It may be that the necessity of a solution will push this new partnership application into the hands of consumers.
Think the IOTA/Primority partnership has what it takes to overcome the massive adoption hurdle, or will it end up as another good idea with no actual user base? Let us know in the comments below!
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