We were proud to be featured again in Food Safety Tech, one of the leading industry digital publications for news, technology, trends, regulations, and expert opinions on food safety, food quality, food business, and food sustainability. The topic: Icicle creator Steven Burton wrote a piece on the potential for blockchain technology to drive compliance with the American Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP). FSVP, as part of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), requires that American food companies ensure that their suppliers meet American food safety regulations put down by FSMA, even if those suppliers are not American companies.
Managing suppliers and vendors is already an extremely complex logistical task for food manufacturers of many sizes. FSVP may have many far-reaching consequences as US FDA extends its reach abroad, and one of them is the management of all this data, around the world, on both industry and government-scales. Burton asks, could blockchain technology be the answer?
Developed by the cryptocurrency industry to address security and transparency, blockchains are blocks of distributed databases that build a growing chain of ordered records, called blocks. This means that any type of information can be stored in a chronological, consistent and secure way; even if multiple users are involved, it is extremely difficult to alter a blockchain. Imagine a traceability chain that used this technology – from company to company, facility to facility, every transaction would be recorded, verified, and accessible. Such a form of data management would change the game for food safety and traceability and be an ideal solution for the unique problems posed by the global supply chain and regulations like FSVP.
But the world isn’t ideal. Though companies like Walmart are exploring ways of using blockchain technology, it has its own technical limitations – not to mention that the level of cooperation across industry and government would have to be unprecedented in order to be a viable solution. Check out the rest of the article to learn more and let us know what you think: what could blockchain technology offer the food industry?
Steven Burton is a technology expert who, in addition to being the CEO and President of Icicle Technologies Inc., developed and continues to build Icicle, a comprehensive food production management system offering the food industry creative and dynamic solutions for better production, better business, and better public health. Follow him on LinkedIn to hear more about the future of tech, or check out his other articles in leading industry publications.