The European Union Blockchain Observatory and Forum has published a new report on blockchain for supply chain transparency.
The report states that supply chain is a complex sector with implications for everyday life that apply to a range of products. Generally, the supply chain is an environment where multiple stakeholders coordinate in order to bring products to consumers, and it is not an environment that is stable without change. Philosophies change, it says, to include new-found requirements and needs, as in the case of the shift from “Just in Time” to “Just in Case”. In this environment, works define transparency and the ways to achieve it throughout the supply chain.
The report says there are many technologies offering advancements for the supply chain in addressing weaknesses or offering new capabilities. The recent pandemic indicated all the weaknesses and novel regulations that might be needed for the supply chain. The regulations’ success depends on considering the factors of people, processes, and products. Zero trust solutions based on blockchain apply to the supply chain sector as they are industry agnostic.
The report details existing, real-world market blockchain solutions as examples, such as the Warehouse, World Bank’s Chia, and Carbon Opportunities Fund. Further examples are divided into regionally, and Africa’s cases include affordable energy and carbon emissions, with stakeholders African Clean Energy, CLINK.earth, and Cartesi.
There is a particular focus on what the report calls “one of the most notable use cases,” IBM Food Trust. Tracing the food supply chain has benefits such as reduced waste, faster recalls, and monitoring of expiry date, says the report. “Traceability can expand further from products and their course, as blockchain can assist cargo management. Documents and other information accompany the cargo through its journey worldwide. The blockchain-based platform, Tradelens, is a solution for automating and decentralising cargo management with partners like Maersk and IBM partaking in the project,” says the report.