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blockchain agribusiness

French Blockchains for Agribusiness

Whether for a beer brewer or General Mills, the Bockchain helps them achieve their goal of better communicating their CSR priorities to consumers. The security of exchanges, instead of going through a central control body, which plays the role of guarantor or “third party”, is achieved by maintaining a shared register that records the history of exchanges. This is what blockchain is all about!

Technically, the blockchain revolution is based on the concept of “public verifiability”, i.e., a technical system that allows anyone to autonomously verify the accuracy of the system’s state. In a distributed ledger, any observer can verify that each action modifying the state of the system is valid: in accordance with the set of rules, accepted by all, that govern the system. This verifiability is possible only if the information needed for validation is available, verifiable in a reasonable time, and the actions performed are observable.

READ MORE Take over from GAFAM with Blockchains?

The evolution of the Blockchain

Over the last ten years, blockchain technology has evolved beyond digital currency (Blockchain 1.0), towards smart contracts or programmable blockchains (Blockchain 2.0), and then towards a vision of advanced forms of decentralized collaborations, both from an economic and legal point of view (Blockchain 3.0).

The birth of programmable blockchains can be seen with the publication of Ethereum. The programmability of blockchains has aroused the interest of almost all industrial sectors: the properties of a “cryptographic ledger” could indeed be used for other applications.
The last three years have seen a multiplication of proofs of concept or experiments in sectors such as energy, food, mobility, pollution control, administration, etc.

Uses of the Blockchain

Today, blockchains are used at a fairly basic level, “Notary”, as a means of traceability where the blockchain has a role of highly available safe. Often, data to be archived or fingerprints (signatures) of these data are recorded, as for diplomas or notary acts, for example.
To go a step further, some applications at this level use elementary smart contracts to perform regularization or billing operations, for example. These operations are done on recorded data flows.

The “Banker” level is characterized by the deployment of crypto-currencies as an alternative to other payment systems.

The “Trader” level involves the use of advanced smart contracts to manage complex billing conditions and the enforcement of contract terms and conditions. A smart contract at this level can also cover the negotiation phase between users, which would lead to an agreement between parties. This means that, for example, users could enter into contracts on the basis of variable offers and demands, or through auctions.

The last level “Coach” performs optimization and decision analysis functions, possibly based on distributed artificial intelligence. Users, through artificial intelligence algorithms, will be able to modify rules and behaviors to improve the global objectives of a community, for example. To do this, smart contracts will have to integrate self-adaptation capabilities, hence the link with artificial intelligence.

READ MORE Blockchain: an Operating Platform for AI?

Innovative French start-ups in blockchain for the food industry

91% of French people say they want more transparency about the food products they buy, and 61% want to know their origin (KANTAR-TNS).

Crystalchain

Crystalchain has developed a secure and reliable traceability platform based on blockchain technology. This platform allows the capture, storage and transmission of information on the products of a chain, at all stages of their production and marketing, in optimal conditions of reliability and security. Once the traces have been recorded, the platform automatically links them together and stores them in the blockchain.

This information is then provided to the company’s employees in the form of dashboards in order to optimize the management of activities, and to consumers via a QR code (printed on the products) referring to web pages for transparency purposes.

Malteries Soufflet has built its real-time traceability offer with Crystalchain: Transparency, a Blockchain-type solution. Malteries Soufflet is launching Transparency, an innovative offer that makes the history and traceability of a beer accessible via blockchain technology. This offer, at the service of the brewer and for the end consumer, is in line with the Soufflet Group’s CSR strategy.

Each actor in the industry supplies the information necessary to reconstitute traceability, while respecting the confidentiality of each of them. Transparency thus enables consumers to access information on the characteristics and quality of the product they are consuming.

Connecting Food

The start-up Connecting Food, in partnership with the CEA-List, offers brands and consumers a new food traceability service. All the stages in the production of a product, from the farm to the supermarket (origin, production method, participants, etc.) are recorded in a blockchain so that they can be consulted by everyone. In case of non-conformity of a product with its specifications, the concerned actor (producer, processor or distributor) is even alerted in real time! The result is a reduction in waste and product recalls, and restored consumer confidence.

In 2021, Géant Vert (General Mills Group) has implemented two of the blockchain solutions: LiveTrack for end-to-end traceability, and LiveScan for transparency to the consumer. With real-time access to food data, the General Miss team seized the opportunity to express their CSR initiatives directly on the product label.

The LiveTrack solution provides food supply managers with real-time traceability at the lot level. Most track-and-trace tools attempt to analyze the flow of products by looking at the links in the chain. LiveTrack, on the other hand, automatically and accurately maps the actual path of ingredients and finished products in real time.

The LiveScan solution offers food brands a simple way to connect with their consumers through dynamic data. By scanning the label, everyone can easily and enjoyably explore the real product story at the batch level.

In conclusion, it appears that the real risks and advances in blockchain potentially come from start-ups with advanced R & D and sufficient resilience (for example, by being backed by research laboratories) to have, after several years, solved a certain number of problems and, in addition, to have provided proof of feasibility and revenue, in agile mode, around the most promising use cases.