Intel, an American tech company while working alongside Curry & Co., a grower of food produce in Oregon used blockchain to trace the supply chain of locally grown blueberries. The pilot project was aimed at tracking the conditions in which these berries were transported in a bid to extend their shelf-life, according to Bendbulletin report on January 16, 2020.
Intel Pilots Blockchain in Tracking Supply chain of Blueberries
Per the report, Intel collaborated with Curry & Co. to use the blockchain in tracking the movement of blueberries from Oregon farm to the processor. In this case, Intel placed remote sensors that are almost sized as handheld pagers on the crates of berries for Curry & Co’s shipments. These sensors were able to track the location, temperature, and other environmental conditions in real-time.
Furthermore, the data received by sensors were sent to the blockchain. And managers monitoring the system could ascertain if the blueberries were transported under suitable conditions or if there were any delays. Reportedly, blueberries have to be stored immediately at temperatures just above freezing in order to lengthen their shelf life.
As a consequence, if these fruits moved along the supply chain under unsuitable conditions, it can decrease their shelf life even when the fruits look appealing to eyes upon the arrival at stores. Much more, these fruits tend to ripen quickly after harvest, which could lead to spoilage and losses on the part of producers. However, the ability to track supply chain data reduces their chances of spoilage.
Blockchain’s Traceability and Transparency Benefits
Explaining the advantages of using the blockchain, Ninette Vaz, Intel’s global supply chain internet of things senior manager noted that the distributed ledger offers transparency. As such, everyone sees the same information in real-time. Vaz also noted that the pilot project was a success, even though ways are still being sought to improve the system.
“I think the technology is ready…I truly believe this can be so valuable,” Vaz said.
On the other hand, it is worth noting that there has been a heightened adoption of blockchain for supply chain tracking. Walmart, Nestle, Carrefour, and Dole are some major companies that have adopted the blockchain for food tracking.
What’s more, CHO, an olive oil producer in the southern Mediterranean revealed that it is using IBM’s blockchain to aid in the traceability of its Terra Delyssa extra virgin olive oil. IBM has also developed a blockchain-based platform for coffee bean growers to enable them to track the movement of their products along the supply chain.