Blockchain in practice
What is blockchain?
Blockchain is a technology to store and share data. Unlike conventional models used for databases, there is no central ledger but the data is stored decentralized. The data is accessible to everyone and impossible to change unilaterally thanks to the use of encryption. Blockchain-like data systems can be used to make supply chains more efficient, transparent and sustainable.
How do we use blockchain?
We have been working on sustainable agriculture and food chains for 25 years. In all our projects, we connect different stakeholders with different interests and align their interests in solutions that are mutually beneficial. We know that strictly technical solutions, such as blockchain, are insufficient to address complex issues in the supply chain. In order to make the chain truly sustainable, the human touch remains crucial.
Still, we believe that blockchain offers interesting solutions for challenges in the supply chain. In combination with content expertise, a thorough multi-stakeholder approach and clear communication, blockchain can be supportive in improving the livelihood of producers and a more environmentally friendly production.
Blockchain technology can be an enabler for:
- Better safeguarding product authenticity.
- Avoiding excessive and double testing.
- Recording, sharing and communicating efforts towards a living wage and better agricultural practices throughout the chain.
- Replacing paper records for reliable registration in the blockchain.
- Allowing consumers to gain much more insight into the people and the stories behind their food and products.
We were one of the first parties to set up an open food blockchain and successfully used it to map an international chain, from the farmer to the retailer. Our open food blockchain can be used by anyone to register and share data - regardless of the type of product and the place in the supply chain. The infrastructure we created allows our customers to simply construct their supply chain and a simple search function makes it easy to retrieve the data. Everyone can view the data and check whether the information is credible.
Stakeholder management and communication
In addition, our added value is applicable to what cannot be replaced by technology: we engage the right stakeholders, we facilitate the creation of joint sustainability objectives and prepare agreements on the type of data that will be registered - in the blockchain. We also contribute to the verification of information, because GIGO (garbage in - garbage out) also applies to blockchain. Moreover, our communication specialists help to formulate the right message to the customer or end-consumer.
Together with Oxfam Novib and various partners in the rice chain, we set up BlocRice. This is a blockchain application that supports the improvement of the income of rice farmers in Cambodia. Oxfam chose us because it wants the blockchain application to be fully open and transparent. Oxfam also finds it important to work with a party that has a track record in stakeholder management, communication and process facilitation. We at Schuttelaar & Partners believe it is important to work with an authority such as Oxfam to improve living conditions in Cambodia.