Blockchain could help keep ‘counterfeit’ products out of organic, non-GMO certification schemes

This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

More and more food products and beverages are branded and accompanied by a variety of certification schemes. For instance, organic production is concerned with verifying sustainable practices. Unlike high oleic acid soybeans or other products with measurable differences, there is no chemical test to determine whether the product was produced under organic or conventional practices. Without verifiable and data rich assets, unqualified counterfeit products with high-quality labels or claims, move across supply chains.

Counterfeits have caused both financial loss and may even damage company’s brand reputation. Transparency refers to whether the product claims are valid. That is, are product claims such as diet (e.g., low fat) fairness to animals
(e.g., cage free, grass fed), and purity, good for the environment fertilizer was applied (e.g., non-

Envision an agrifood system, with all of its legacy technologies, but operating as a common database, a backbone, that all participants in an industry (or a supply chain) can access, read and write to, then all past frustrations with the absence of interoperability can be overcome (Korpela 2017). BCT seems to be a logical choice for verifying
practices with verified data.

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Corn is produced on a farm in Central Kansas. The process first starts at the time of harvest. Farmers store in the blockchain details about the harvest. For example, certifying that the process from seeding (or earlier) to harvesting is compliant with certain regulations (e.g., organic, non-gmo, nutrient management plans, etc.), which consequently needs a certification authority, and frequently site-specific yield estimates (e.g., USDA’s Yield Editor for data quality assurance) to confirm this is the case. This certification authority issues signing authority of a certificate analysis to the farm, enabling the farm to certify specific identified portions of the crop (lots).

Read full, original article: The Old “Block” and Chain: How Farm Data Will Be Used on the Blockchain

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