New Player in Food Blockchain

January 27, 2019
New Player in Food Blockchain

The World Wildlife Fund-Australia has distributed a supply chain tool using blockchain that can help make tracking of food items transparent.  The tool uses QR codes that are distributed to client corporations to facilitate tracking.


Video Spotlight: Bait to Plate: Using Blockchain in the Tuna Industry


This post is based on the Coin Telegraph article, WWF Launches Blockchain Tool to Track Food Along Supply Chain, by William Suberg, January 17, 2019; and the YouTube video, Bait-to-Plate: Using Blockchain in the Tuna Industry, by WWF-Australia, July 31, 2018. Image source: Westend61/Getty Images.

Discussion Questions:

1. How does this supply chain tool for WWF-Australia promote social responsibility for corporations that choose to participate? How does this encourage non-participating firms to join the WWF-Australia supply chain tool?

Guidance: The first part of the question is to stimulate a review of the Triple Bottom Line.  The challenge will be focused on the second question posed.  Ask students to consider what pressures a non-participating firm may face in the long run, assuming the QR system becomes more commonly accepted by major food suppliers.  How else can non-participating firms be encouraged to participate in this system?  Are there other incentives that could be created by WWF-Australia to encourage participation?

This will likely lead to some discussion of marketing and strategic management topics.  By bringing in other disciplines, it will help students understand that operations/supply chain issues have implications beyond the course material.

2. Have students read about a Swiss food manufacturer’s use of blockchain to track fish. What differences are there, if any, in the ETH and WWF-Australia blockchain implications for the industry?

Guidance: This is a good way to see that blockchain technology can aid in transparency and stimulate Triple Bottom Line results as a by-product.  Students should readily see that tracking the tuna fishing supply chain aids in food transparency as does the WWF-Australia example.

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