Food Waste & The Supply Chain

Supply chains are being reimagined across industries as blockchain technology becomes more prevalent. Today, food supply chains can be a bit of a mystery to the consumer. When you go to the grocery store, you just want to know that you’re buying high-quality food that’s safe and was produced in a way that didn’t harm the environment. Knowing all these details is important and with blockchain technology, this transparency is possible. Read on to learn why there needs to be transparency between the agricultural supply chain and consumers.

The agricultural supply chain is a complicated process. The food you eat comes from farms, which are often thousands of miles away from where it’s sold. With this distance, there are many opportunities for something to go wrong along the way and it can be difficult to pinpoint exactly what happens when things do go wrong. For example, food waste accounts for an estimated 30-50% of all food produced worldwide

Photo by Sri Lanka, by simon peel

Food waste is an issue that has been brought into the spotlight recently and for good reason. According to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), about one-third of all food produced for human consumption gets lost or wasted before it reaches our plates. In the US alone, about 40% of food goes uneaten — which adds up to an estimated $160 billion worth of wasted food every year. That’s more money than Americans spend on healthcare each year!

“It’s been estimated that in order to feed 10 billion people by 2050, we will need 70% more land, 50% more water, and 30% higher yields than we have today.”

Food wastage can occur as food travels through the supply chain—for example if it is improperly stored or refrigerated. It can also happen at a consumer level—if people throw out spoiled or expired groceries.  Food losses early on in the supply chain can be caused by unanticipated weather or workforce shortages. Stores may also place large orders without considering shelf life and customer demand

Because there is not enough data on food loss throughout the supply chain, no one feels responsible for solving the problem. Actionable data is needed at every level of the food waste challenge, from establishing baselines for improvement to sharing success stories.

The fact is, the current model of food production is unsustainable. It’s been estimated that in order to feed 10 billion people by 2050, we will need 70% more land, 50% more water, and 30% higher yields than we have today. We will discuss how blockchain technology can be used to solve these problems in next week’s post.


Marla Rivera, CEO of Biomass Products and Services

“We had FIVE recalls this week alone on food that could have been solved in a matter of days versus months, and the amount of food that was lost when we have people standing in food pantry lines is not a good thing…”

Marla Rivera, CEO of Biomass Products and Services

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