WWF launches blockchain platform to track food

WWF and BCG Digital Ventures have developed a blockchain platform to track the environmental and ethical impact of food and products. It is designed to help consumers and companies alike avoid buying illegal, environmentally damaging or unethical goods.

The new global platform, called OpenSC, allows anyone to scan product QR codes with a smartphone camera to obtain information about where a specific product came from, when and how it was produced, and how it journeyed along the supply chain before reaching store shelves.

OpenSC works by attaching a digital tag, such as an RFID tag, to products at their original point of production and then linking these to a blockchain platform. The blockchain, which records the movement of the product, cannot be tampered with.

“Unsustainable production of food and goods is a major driver of environmental damage and some of the worst supply chains remain rife with human rights issues,” Marco Lambertini, director general of WWF International, said in a press release.

Calling OpenSC a “game changer” that massively increases transparency and accountability, Lambertini said that the platform gives consumers “the power to track their purchases from source to store, enabling them to buy and importantly, demand sustainable and ethical, fair products from companies”.

OpenSC is compatible with existing supply chain operations and certification systems and can even interface with other blockchain-enabled providence solutions, added BCG Digital Ventures managing director Paul Hunyor. This means that producers “can be on OpenSC in a very short time frame”.

The platform was launched following an award-winning pilot by WWF and partners that used blockchain to track tuna caught in the Pacific. OpenSC will be presented to business leaders at the upcoming World Economic Forum in Davos on 24 January.

Image credit: James Wei via Unsplash

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