Can Blockchain Fortify the Organic Food Supply Chain?

Omnichain in the News: CEO Pratik Soni’s article in Food Quality & Safety explores how farmers, manufacturers and retailers can use blockchain to gain complete farm-to-fork traceability and strengthen the organic food supply chain.

As they browse the aisles of their local grocery stores, today’s conscious shoppers aim to make healthier and more eco-friendly purchases. Many now favor the organic variety of their favorite food and beverages, and they are more than willing to pay a premium price. In fact, the U.S. organic food market has seen impressive growth over the last several years, with sales reaching a record high of $52.5 billion in 2018, according to the Organic Trade Association.

Organic labels can now be found in nearly every aisle—from fresh produce, eggs, milk, and poultry to juice, coffee beans, breakfast cereals, and snack foods. And a “USDA-certified 100-percent organic” label guarantees with 100-percent certainty that those fruits were grown without pesticides, those chickens were raised without antibiotics or growth hormones, and those snacks were made without artificial preservatives … right?

Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.

An Easy Target for Food Fraud

The organic food market is prime target for fraud, particularly since these goods tend to fetch much higher prices than those that are “conventional.” In the United States, USDA enforces stringent standards for growing, processing, and handling organic foods; however, many goods labeled “100-percent organic” are imported—or contain imported ingredients—from countries around the world.

In 2016, for example, 26 million pounds of soybeans treated with pesticides were transported via cargo ship from Ukraine to Turkey and, finally, to California. Certification documents were forged at some point in transit, and the conventional soybeans arrived at port falsely labeled as organic. Twenty-one million pounds were already distributed by the time the deception was caught. Many were sold to farmers of organic livestock—which must be fed organic feed—ultimately compromising the integrity of the organic food label.

To protect their products and processes, organic farmers, manufacturers, and retailers need a system that provides complete farm-to-fork traceability. This is exactly where distributed ledger technology (commonly known as blockchain) can help.

Read More:

What People Are Saying

DPR Group has provided valuable public relations insight and helped us increase our marketplace visibility on a local and national level. Our partnership has enabled us to focus on growing our client base, while expanding our messaging and showcasing our unique services.

Kim Cubine

At this point in time, Hermes has a well-established brand throughout Europe, but the company does not have the same level of name recognition in North America. So we decided to partner with DPR Group to let U.S. retailers know about the full range of e-commerce services Hermes offers for e-businesses and international expansion. DPR Group did a fantastic job for Hermes at the Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition (IRCE), promoting attendance at our sessions and scheduling media interviews before and after. We’ve never had as much press coverage at any U.S. event before. I highly recommend DPR Group to foreign companies seeking to launch their products and services in U.S. markets.

Uwe Bald

The key factor for Cimcorp when choosing a PR firm was finding representation that could create well-written, persuasive content and elevate brand recognition for the company in our industry. DPR exceeds our expectations and helps us beyond content creation. They have become a reliable resource for many of our global marketing initiatives.

Lori Vaughan, Marketing Communications Manager
Cimcorp North America

DPR Group really understands our industry and the unique role InfinityQS plays in it. They provide both strategic guidance and tactical execution to deliver coverage in key trade publications and exposure with industry analysts and third-party influencers. The team is flexible and always willing to roll up their sleeves to assist us in a wide range of marketing activities beyond our traditional public relations initiatives. DPR Group is more than a vendor. They are a true, trusted and valued partner.

Greg Matranga

DPR has been an asset to Barcoding’s marketing department since 2010. Through their expert writing, advice, and connections, we’ve secured local and national media coverage, leveraged the power of search engine optimization (SEO) with a strategy of inbound content marketing, and strengthened our brand’s reputation as a leading systems integrator.

Jody Costa

In less than six months, DPR Group has helped Protech develop and launch a new website and successfully introduce Protech Cloud Business Solutions to the market. We truly value the expertise and services that the DPR Group team brings to the table and look forward to a long, successful relationship together.

Brian Bruffey

DPR Group is a trusted adviser to both Quality Associates, Inc. and DocPoint Solutions. DPR’s wide range of PR services ensures that our most important news is what our industry views first.

Scott Swidersky
Quality Associates, Inc.

DPR Group has achieved results for that have far exceeded our initial expectations. We look forward to a long-term relationship with DPR Group as an integral part of our corporate growth goals.

Robert Salta

At Linortek, we specialize in designing and manufacturing controllers for the Internet of Things, a market involving connecting all type of equipment and devices to the Internet. We made the decision to partner with DPR Group because of the company’s proven track record of securing greater market visibility in the high-tech and manufacturing arenas. In addition, the DPR Group team is flexible enough to adapt their ongoing strategies and programs to help us meet our evolving needs and goals.

Liyu Nalven, Vice President

DPR Group’s PR campaigns have helped us increase the visibility of U-TECK’s products for the utility, telecom and construction industries, especially our WeedEnder® vegetation control mattings. Since working with DPR, we have noticed 30% and 50% increases in traffic to our U-TECK and WeedEnder websites, respectively.

Nan Jackson

Since 2007, DPR Group has been a trusted business partner providing expert public relations and marketing advice. DPR Group has secured tremendous positive media coverage for our firm, bringing visibility to our software and assisting our sales.

Felix Pekar

DPR Group’s extensive knowledge and experience in PR and marketing have elevated the Cetrom brand, increased awareness of our services across the industry, and secured numerous award wins and media placements. We value the partnership that has developed and DPR’s contribution to our overall success.

Christopher Stark, President and CEO
Cetrom Information Technology, Inc.