This is the 6th issue of the Forks Monthly blockchain for supply chains newsletter. We curate and select the 3 most important blockchain for supply chains articles every month and share an insight for each article. It is our mission to make sure you get all the info you need to stay ahead of this new technology in one single mail per month. Click here to sign up for our newsletter->
In this months newsletter we discuss the following topics:
- Blockchain Startups Disrupting The Agricultural Industry
- Insight #1: Blockchain is much more than a tool to offer transparency
- Ripe.io Partners up with FlavorWiki
- Insight #2: An incentive for food producers
- Farm.ink’s taps into Facebook data to help livestock farmers
- Insight #3: An incentive for smallholder Farmers
This article explains how 8 different blockchain start-ups in the agrifood sector are bringing disruption in 4 different area’s. If you want to get a general view of which area’s blockchain can be implemented in agrifood, but don’t feel like reading long reports than this article is for you. It gives a short but concise explanation for each area why blockchain can be relevant.
Insight #1 Blockchain is much more than a tool to offer transparency
The vast majority of current blockchain implementations in agrifood focuses on food transparency and traceability. Although traceability is something that has been difficult to achieve before blockchain due to the limitations of trust and data sharing within supply chains, it isn’t a functionality that is directly enabled by blockchain. At The Fork we absolutely believe that blockchain enabled traceability is the future. However, we believe blockchain has much more to offer in supply chains than only traceability, some of which are actually directly enabled by blockchain technology.
In order to trace a product back to its source, every player in a supply chain has to participate. However, supply chain traceability often mostly benefits the brand at the end of the chain which now has a strong marketing tool to show to its consumer. If all actors in a supply chain are already connected through a blockchain traceability platform, why not incorporate incentives for every stakeholder to use the platform?
In this press release, Ripe.io announces an interesting new partnership with FlavorWiki. Ripe.io is a food traceability platform that runs on blockchain. They are an early adopter in the blockchain for food space and where featured in one of our first food integrity meetups, check them out by clicking here. FlavorWiki developed an application that uses AI to give food brands insights from a wide consumer database about the flavor, texture, aroma and mouthfeel of their products.
Through this partnership, Ripe.io will have access to FlavorWiki’s collection of data around consumer flavor, texture, and aroma preferences. For food producers and sellers, the major benefit of this partnership will be to understand if and how different soil, seasons, processing and transportation conditions impact consumers taste perception and preference. In theory, this improved farm-to-fork transparency will be able to help producers make better-tasting foods.
Insight #2 an incentive for food producers
Ripe.io seems to be well aware of the fact that more functionality than just traceability is needed to get all stakeholders along a supply chain on board on one platform. A partnership with FlavorWiki adds a strong incentive for more upstream suppliers to start using their platform as this allows them to gain direct feedback from their end consumers about their produce. The monitoring of growing and production methods native to Ripe platform, and the collection of consumer insights using FlavorWiki’s technology both become more valuable when combined together. There is a synergy between both use cases when implemented in the same supply chain.
Farm ink is a startup that won multiple challenges on CGIAR platform, a platform that funds big data approaches to solve agricultural development problems. In 2017, Farm.ink was awarded Big Data’s Inspire Challenge start up grant of US$100,000. Over the course of their grant, Farm ink created the Africa Farmers Club: a Facebook community which now has over 120,000 members. The Farm.ink team also built a chatbot on the Messenger platform to deliver dairy farmers information on productivity, markets and livestock management.
During CGIAR’s Big Data’s conference in Nairobi, Farm.ink received an additional scale-up grant of US$125,000 that is going towards scaling Farm.ink’s digital services up and out across Africa. In partnership with IDEO.org, the team is now focusing on building a web platform to enable farmers, across multiple value chains, to share questions and advice and access expert agronomic content.
Insight #3 an incentive for smallholder farmers
Through simple data ordening and chatbot functionalities, Farm ink found a way to add value for thousands of digitized smallholder farmers in developing countries. When they initially started working on solutions for farmers, they limited themselves to SMS. However, with smartphone prices dropping to as low as US$30-40, they are now able to use smartphones to connect with farmers. With more and more farmers expected to get access to the internet in the coming years, a door of opportunity opens. Supplying farmers with useful data could be a perfect way to add incentives for them to use a traceability platform.
Incorporate these insights:
Traceability becomes the most interesting when you can trace a product from source until destination, from farm to fork. However, to do so one needs to get all stakeholders within a supply chain on board. If you are working on a traceability project, think about the stakeholders that your platform currently adds value to and to whom it doesn’t. Which stakeholders are currently under served and how could you add extra functionalities in order to add an incentive for them to use your platform? How could you capitalize on the digital connection that you already created on your platform to offer more value for all stakeholders involved? If you have any questions about this or would like our network to think with you, feel free to join our LinkedIn group! We are happy to answer your questions.
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