Championing Food Safety through Innovation
On 1 Oct 2020, SGTech, together with OpenNodes and the Singapore Food Manufacturers’ Association, organised the first webinar in the “Unblocked" webinar series.
The webinar put its spotlight on the intersection between blockchain technology and the food industry, with the following speakers:
• Mr Alan Lim (Co-Chairman, SGTech Blockchain Committee, and Head, Blockchain CoC, APAC, IBM)
• Mr Jason Lim (Founder and CEO, veriTAG)
• Mr Gary Loh (Founder and Chairman, DiMuto)
• Mr Joseph Lim (Head of Global Business Development, Tribe) as the moderator of the panel discussion
Mr Jason Lim (veriTAG) opened the presentation by describing the issues of dubious marketing and lack of standardisation of food products in the market. To address these, veriTag combines hardware and software to identify and tag food products so that suppliers and consumers can track and trace the product’s journey from source to destination.
Secondly, Mr Gary Loh (DiMuto) shared how they are tackling food waste problem by using a common database powered by blockchain technology. Their blockchain technology product is augmented with Artificial Intelligence to identify blemishes on products. Vendors are also able to use their proprietary mobile application to ensure the food products are well-received.
Mr Alan Lim (SGTech/IBM) described how IBM's Foodtrust platform connects different ecosystem to enable information-sharing across the entire value chain of the food product. He illustrated how Foodtrust could reduce food wastage and ensure food safety through an example of a product recall. Blockchain technology can precisely identify the origins of problematic food products and single out affected products from among an entire batch of food. In this way, we avoid unnecessarily disposing of all products from affected distributors, minimising waste. The technology also builds trust and credibility across the supply chain.
During the panel discussion, the panel discussed how blockchain enabled track-and-trace could improve efficiency and minimise food wastage and bolster the branding and credibility of food products.
The panel agreed that implementing blockchain technology in the food and agriculture sector would involve hardware and software investments. In evaluating the investment decision, a company needs to understand how the technology deployment would support their company strategy; for example, by improving brand image and trust in their products among consumers, increasing visibility of stock movement through the supply chain, minimising waste, and others.
The biggest challenge of blockchain technology adoption lies in the difficulty of integrating multiple stakeholders using different systems, and policies regarding consent and rights to data, especially where goods and data move across national borders. From the regulatory perspective, they recommend that authorities play an advisory role to specify standards while the industry takes the initiative to execute them.
The "Unblocked Series: Blockchain for Industries" is a series of webinars and public awareness events that provides a platform to share about applications of blockchain technology in different industries. The series also aims to encourage the adoption of blockchain technology solutions to drive efficiency and innovations that enhance the Singapore economy.
To find out more about membership and the Blockchain Committee in SGTech, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published Oct 2020