The Dairy Farmers of America (DFA), a cooperative of 8,500 dairy farms in the United States, is launching a pilot program for using blockchain technology to improve the dairy products supply chain. The DFA aims to increase supply chain transparency and freshness of dairy products by better connecting farmers to end customers.
The DFA is partnering with ripe.io for this pilot program, a company which combines blockchain technology and the internet of things (IoT) to form what they call ‘The Blockchain of Food‘. Apparently, the ripe.io platform is already fully developed to track food from farmers, to distributors, to customers, which is exactly what the DFA needs to ensure the freshest dairy products. The integration with IoT is particularly important for dairy products, since dairy products must be kept at a cool temperature during transport, and IoT integration with blockchain allows temperature data for the dairy products to be stored in an immutable ledger.
The vice president of Sustainability and Member Services at the DFA, David Darr, says, “Consumers today want to know where their food comes from and blockchain technology, like ripe.io, gives consumers real-time data, which can really help increase trust and confidence about food production from start to finish. We know that there’s a lot of application for blockchain technology within agriculture, and we ultimately want to help our dairy farmers be on the forefront. For now, our goal is to evaluate the technology and explore how it might benefit our supply chain.”
Blockchain technology is ideal for supply chains because it provides a transparent yet immutable and cryptographically secure ledger. A properly-built blockchain can’t be hacked, so all the data stored in it can’t be manipulated. This provides a secure and trustworthy record of the movement of dairy products from farm to store. Inefficiencies in the dairy supply chain can be easier recognized and eliminated with blockchain technology, which would ultimately make the dairy supply chain shorter and stronger. This will result in more profits for dairy companies once inefficiencies in the supply chain are eliminated, as well as fresher dairy products reaching customers, leading to a better experience for end users.
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