Dairy is an essential daily necessity, and the consumer deserves the complete right to understand everything from the farm to the store. Blockchain exactly helps achieve that, creating a transparent and secure mechanism.
Milk and other dairy products are almost like the staple food in most of the countries. Consumers’ confidence in the product can be raised to a larger extent if all the relative information reaches the consumer. Right from what source the milk is rendered from, to how it was handled during the supply chain, and what time since it has been lying in the store, just everything about the product is essential for a consumer to know. Today, the consumer is highly aware of what he consumes. Even the minutest details like from which cattle have the milk come, how it was sterilized and packed, just everything about it, is of utmost importance.
On the other hand, a lookout from the farmers’ perspective mentions the need of managing the farm and understanding the supply chain system, becomes significant. Generating each cattle’s profile, understanding the supply chain status until the product reaches the distributor, even understanding the consumer (end-users’) feedback on the product, helps the farmer improvise his dairy business.
Blockchain with the help of IoT and AI can successfully build a transparent and trustworthy system for both the consumers and farmers and everyone in between, making the transactions easier and highly secure. Ultimately creating a win-win for all.
Some of the major issues in the dairy sector in the conventional system:
Lack of Traceability:
Not just consumers, but even the farmers cannot trace the products once it leaves the farm. Low traceability of point of origin for consumers and low traceability about Supply chain information to the farmers, makes the system less trustworthy.
Vague Supply Chain Management:
All the information related to the supply chain, as from when the products are picked from the farm and reaches to distributors and the store and just every relative information is not timestamped and hence the supply chain management becomes vague and unclear.
High Cost and Time involved:
As most of the processes involve third party middlemen and major work is manually done, it involves a high cost and time. Also, the system becomes more prone to manual errors.
Risk of Adulteration:
In most manual operations of the dairy industry, there is a high risk of adulteration and corruption, making the system weak and less transparent.
All the information that flows within the system is not secure and time-stamped. Such information is prone to unauthentic modification, making the entire system insecure as a whole.
Decreased growth rate:
As there is a lack of connection between the end-consumers and farmers, exact feedback cannot reach the farmers, which leads to the same system running through years and decades, without the sign of improvements or positive modifications.
Partners involved in the blockchain network for the dairy industry:
Validated and accurate data must be entered into the blockchain blocks, every time a new one is added. Transparency and data security are what blockchain promises. A smart contract helps achieve that using timestamps for every bit of data. Data once stored becomes immutable. Everyone from farmers, supply chain managers, distributors, store owners, consumers, and other related parties are involved in the blockchain network of smart contracts. A multi-step validation and authorization make the system less vulnerable and more trustworthy.
How Blockchain can help overcome the issues and improvise the system:
A completely automated and smart system makes cost-cutting possible to a larger extent. Also, as the blockchain system is decentralized, the cost incurred on the middlemen is completely removed making the system cost-effective along with saving a lot of time.
Transparency and Traceability:
Usage of RFID tags for the cattle and QR codes for the products, makes the system more transparent, both to the farmers and the end-users. Good traceability of farm-related and SCM related information is made simpler with the help of blockchain.
Building Customer Confidence:
A highly transparent system with all the information at the fingertips makes the system more trustworthy and helps build customer confidence. Blockchain definitely aims to implement the “Farm to Fork” information retrieval culture for the consumers.
Farm and Cattle Management:
For farmers, it’s a complicated process to manage the tasks related to farming and the distribution of products. Blockchain helps farmers in maintaining all the information related to cattle and their health along with other tasks of farms.
Easier tracking of the supply chain improvises the speed of distribution, as well as the transparency, is maintained through the process.
Easy feedback tracking:
Consumers can directly give feedback to farmers, which would help farmers for requisite product modifications and business growth along with high opportunities of getting loans from banks and financial institutions.