One of Forbes 25 Most Innovative Ag-tech Startups, Ripe.io is a company that is promising. We have long wondered exactly what our food goes through before it reaches our plates and this is one start up hell bent on finding the answer for us. It’s a blockchain solution for our food system. It recently participated in The Mixing Bowl’s Food IT: Fork to Farm. Let’s find out why Raja Ramachandran, the CEO of Ripe.io, thinks that using blockchain for the food’s supply chain is a good idea.
1. It Helps to Evaluate the Quality of Food
The promise of quality is one that is not very easily verifiable in the traditional food supply chain. With, the blockchain network of Ripe.io, it will be easy to verify if the other participant of the network really does fulfill the promise that he is portraying.
A food processor may want to see if the chicken that he is getting from a supplier is 100% hormone free. It is consumers’ right and in their best interest to know whether the chicken they eat is free of harmful hormones.
With the food blockchain, the information regarding the status of hormones in the chicken can be digitized and made available on grocery planning apps, smart menus and other diet planning apps on the web. Site visits to the supplier’s location and sampling can also be scheduled. A certificate to back the claims made by the supplier will be awarded and strengthen their promise of hormone-free chicken further.
2. A means to facilitate the exchange information more easily
The food blockchain needs more and more data to be successful. Its first and foremost benefit is that it acts as a facilitator for information exchange, makes a digital copy of the information and the supply chain workflow. It records and validates the quality of food as it moves along the way. Each individual or group in the blockchain network can share the claim that they make about their food, i.e. being organic, farm fresh etc.
The blockchain object used to capture all such information is the food bundle. This bundle is all thedata garnered from different players throughout the food supply chain neatly synthezised. It is then used to establish flavor profile, sustainability, quality and other aspects of the food itself.
3. Mobilizing a Smarter Market Place
The blockchain for food will make an excellent platform for a more informed marketplace. A dynamic marketplace based on real time data. Raja says that the system will work the same way that Google does when it bids against words. The buyers and sellers are matched when the claims of a seller on a smart contract are matched against a buyer’s needs like time, quantity and quality. Walmart or other large chain grocery stores don’t need to employ standards or collect information when buyers and sellers are directly put in touch, anonymously via the blockchain. The buyer and seller don’t need to know each other for the exchange to take place (removing the trust variable).
Whatever Raja seems to have in mind is pointing towards a more informed and streamlined food supply chain. Let’s see how well his agri-tech startup holds up in the future.