STORES Magazine - April 2018 - 26

n SUPPLY CHAIN

How Blockchain Can Benefit the
Food Supply Chain
The technology could bring visibility, efficiency and security
by CRAIG GUILLOT

B

lockchain remains an obscure
concept to many, but experts say the
technology could have big implications
for grocers and retailers that carry food
products by enabling them to better trace
the origins of items and more quickly
handle recalls. From farms and processing
facilities to the shelves of grocery stores,
experts say a blockchain-based system
could create a reliable and trusted network
to share information about food products.
While retailers are continually finding
ways to reduce risk and optimize
supply chains, food products can be
especially challenging because of their
perishable nature and potential hazards.
The fact that farmers, processors,
manufacturers, shipping companies
and distributors often use their own
reporting systems only adds to the

26

STORES April 2018

complexity. Even in today's era of
the Internet of Things, cloud-based
technology and real-time reporting, it
can be difficult for retailers to precisely
track the origins of food products.
That is a big problem, considering
that food can be dangerous when it
is not handled properly in transit.
According to the federal Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention,
food-borne pathogens such as E. coli,
listeria or salmonella are responsible
for 48 million illnesses, 128,000
hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths
annually. And because contamination
or mishandling can occur at any point
in the supply chain, it can often be
difficult to trace the source.
Data from the Stericycle Recall Index
indicates that food product recalls

have risen over the past five years,
skyrocketing 93 percent since 2012. A
survey by the Grocery Manufacturers
Association found more than half of
companies surveyed were impacted by a
food recall in the five years prior.
Peter Mehring, CEO of Zest Labs,
says while the United States has a "very
trusted" food supply chain, certain
parts have less reliable information
than others. Seafood has been one area
of concern; it can also be challenging
to confirm the validity of organic and
locally grown products. Even among
big brands, seasonal outsourcing of
cultivation or manufacturing can lead
to inconsistencies.
"Getting product-level visibility is the
ultimate goal, but we don't know many
retailers that are getting that today.
STORES.ORG


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of STORES Magazine - April 2018

Editor’s Page
President’s Page
Retail Politics
NRF News
TRENDS
C2W
Retail People
A Taste for Success
Want It, Need It, Gotta Have It
SUPPLY CHAIN
TECHNOLOGY
FINANCE
Q&A
MERCHANDISING
BUSINESS OPERATIONS Lowe’s expands training program to help communities in need.
BUSINESS OPERATIONS Bloomin’ Brands uses data to save money and improve the customer experience.
BUSINESS OPERATIONS Grove Collaborative reduces delivery times and improves customer satisfaction.
STARTUP SPOTLIGHT IceCream Labs uses machine learning and visual intelligence to drive ecommerce.
THEFT
SECURITY
POV
Communities
End Cap
STORES Magazine - April 2018 - Intro
STORES Magazine - April 2018 - cover1
STORES Magazine - April 2018 - cover2
STORES Magazine - April 2018 - 3
STORES Magazine - April 2018 - 4
STORES Magazine - April 2018 - 5
STORES Magazine - April 2018 - Editor’s Page
STORES Magazine - April 2018 - President’s Page
STORES Magazine - April 2018 - Retail Politics
STORES Magazine - April 2018 - NRF News
STORES Magazine - April 2018 - TRENDS
STORES Magazine - April 2018 - 11
STORES Magazine - April 2018 - 12
STORES Magazine - April 2018 - 13
STORES Magazine - April 2018 - 14
STORES Magazine - April 2018 - C2W
STORES Magazine - April 2018 - Retail People
STORES Magazine - April 2018 - 17
STORES Magazine - April 2018 - A Taste for Success
STORES Magazine - April 2018 - 19
STORES Magazine - April 2018 - 20
STORES Magazine - April 2018 - 21
STORES Magazine - April 2018 - Want It, Need It, Gotta Have It
STORES Magazine - April 2018 - 23
STORES Magazine - April 2018 - 24
STORES Magazine - April 2018 - 25
STORES Magazine - April 2018 - SUPPLY CHAIN
STORES Magazine - April 2018 - 27
STORES Magazine - April 2018 - 28
STORES Magazine - April 2018 - TECHNOLOGY
STORES Magazine - April 2018 - 30
STORES Magazine - April 2018 - FINANCE
STORES Magazine - April 2018 - 32
STORES Magazine - April 2018 - Q&A
STORES Magazine - April 2018 - MERCHANDISING
STORES Magazine - April 2018 - 35
STORES Magazine - April 2018 - BUSINESS OPERATIONS Lowe’s expands training program to help communities in need.
STORES Magazine - April 2018 - 37
STORES Magazine - April 2018 - BUSINESS OPERATIONS Bloomin’ Brands uses data to save money and improve the customer experience.
STORES Magazine - April 2018 - 39
STORES Magazine - April 2018 - BUSINESS OPERATIONS Grove Collaborative reduces delivery times and improves customer satisfaction.
STORES Magazine - April 2018 - 41
STORES Magazine - April 2018 - STARTUP SPOTLIGHT IceCream Labs uses machine learning and visual intelligence to drive ecommerce.
STORES Magazine - April 2018 - THEFT
STORES Magazine - April 2018 - 44
STORES Magazine - April 2018 - 45
STORES Magazine - April 2018 - SECURITY
STORES Magazine - April 2018 - 47
STORES Magazine - April 2018 - POV
STORES Magazine - April 2018 - Communities
STORES Magazine - April 2018 - End Cap
STORES Magazine - April 2018 - cover3
STORES Magazine - April 2018 - cover4
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