By Lauren Solar
Food safety is a complicated undertaking in today’s global market. Because the international food industry is so large, it is impossible to inspect every facility. Therefore, when it comes to securing the food supply chain, governments and regulatory agencies are forced to take a reactionary approach; only investigating when a complaint is received. This puts the onus on the importers, purchasers and manufacturers to be proactive in securing their own supply chains. It’s a daunting task, yet emerging technologies could provide some solutions.
Two developing technologies that could be even more powerful when used together are the Internet of Things (IoT) and blockchain technology.
The Internet of Things refers to everyday things that contain sensors, software, and other technologies for the purpose of uploading data to devices and systems over the Internet.
Future food packages could include sensors and radio-frequency identification (RFID) chips: these technologies are getting smaller and less expensive, meaning they will be more ubiquitous. These chips would allow packages to be tracked from farm to their final destination, with all stops and delays on route being clearly identified. Not only would this let the purchaser know about any unscheduled stops, it could also alert them if their shipment is late. They can then reschedule their production activity or arrange for an alternate supply without rushing, making it more likely that they can pre-qualify their substitute supplier.