Unharvested food, the need for transparency about the origin of products, failure to maintain the cold chain, greater interest in food safety... There are many new challenges in the food supply chain. In response, why not strengthen and secure the sharing of information and improve procedures between the different links in the chain? This is the goal of Agriledger: an innovative system for managing all these intermediaries.
© Jérôme Meyer-Bisch
The principle of the new technology involves asking and enabling each player in the chain to record all actions on products, from the beginning of the agricultural production cycle to sale, using a smartphone with geolocation (1). This information is then secured using blockchain technology (2), which involves continuously sharing a constantly-updated copy of the whole information system between users. The data exchanged is thus totally transparent and unfalsifiable and includes a complete history. The blockchain allows tighter control over each step: transport, cold chain, registration documents, certification documents… Every link in the chain, from producer to retailer, will benefit from using the system, which will reduce each party’s risk profile and recreate value at every level in terms of traceability, the environment, logistical efficiency, food safety, etc.
Using a QR code on a product or batch, consumers will be able to check the data, made immutable by the blockchain, in formats designed for web users and smartphones (3). The system will also provide easier access to labels certifying aspects such as organic food and registered designations of origin.
AgriLedger is currently being developed in Haiti in collaboration with the government and with financial support from the World Bank. SourceTrace, a company specialising in innovative software solutions for sustainable agriculture, is supporting the launch of this pilot project, which will be used to develop the pineapple, avocado and mango sectors. The project creates value not only for Haiti, a country that is particularly sensitive to problems in the management of the food supply chain, but for all the world’s agriculture: it will ultimately help to strengthen control over quality labels and manage health crises more effectively.
 Blockchain is a technology for storing and transmitting information transparently, securely and without any central control authority.