A Norwegian company has developed a salmon tracing blockchain solution, which tracks each fish as it goes through the supply chain (Shutterstock/Suvijag Jangwatkhet)
As time goes on, we’re seeing more and more applications for blockchain technology. As one article pointed out, the technology is currently being used or tested in more than 50 areas—from tracking distribution of energy resources in real time to recording land registry titles.
Here are some examples of how blockchain is being applied in the fashion, luxury and food industries.
After a large outbreak of E. coli in romaine lettuce last year brought food safety to the forefront, Walmart and Sam’s Club sent a letter to suppliers of fresh, leafy greens telling them they needed to use blockchain technology to trace their products all the way back to the farm.
As one article put it, Walmart’s vision is that any customer should be able to “walk up to a self-checkout unit, scan their bag of lettuce (or vegetables), and immediately see where it was harvested and distributed up and until it reached the store.” [See Data governance is critical to any blockchain initiative, say experts]
In a move not unlike Walmart’s lettuce initiative, a Norwegian company acquired by U.K.-based Ernst & Young (EY) has developed a salmon tracing blockchain solution, says Ledger Insights. The project, from, EY Skye, tracks each fish as it goes through the supply chain. Using an app, consumers will be able to see where their fish has been, what “batch” it comes from, and whether it has been used in another product.
“It’s important to distributors, restaurants, markets, and, of course, customers to be able to trace each fish through a value chain,” said Lars Torp, a partner at EY Skye. “People will eat more fish and be healthier if they know its story.”
San Francisco jeweller Brilliant Earth has partnered with London-based Everledger to introduce blockchain-integrated diamonds. Everledger’s product registers the unique markings of more than 2.2 million diamonds, tracking and permanently recording every step in their lifecycle, including origin, customer ownership and videos of the rough diamond. Brilliant Earth’s co-CEO Beth Gerstein says in an article on the subject that this appeals directly to millennial and Gen Z customers who want to purchase socially conscious products and engage with cutting-edge technology.
Fuchsia, a Seattle-based sustainable footwear company, uses blockchain platform Provenance to provide details about the workers who hand-make the brand’s shoes in Pakistan.
“We believe that people don’t just want a comfortable pair of shoes—they want to know that their purchase actually benefits the artisans behind a product,” says the company on its website. Not long after the company added the information to its e-commerce product pages, it saw a 31 per cent increase in online conversions, says an article on the subject.
As part of its worker well-being program, Levi Strauss & Co. has started testing a worker survey that anonymously records factory employees’ answers to questions on a blockchain platform. According to Tomicah Tillemann, founder of the Blockchain Trust Accelerator (BTA) at New America, this solution will make it possible to provide “a secure, standardized, auditable, and transparent platform through which worker survey data can be aggregated and analyzed.” Thanks to this solution, the results will never be manipulated, said Allison Price, BTA executive director, in an interview with Reuters.
BE IN THE KNOW
Learn more about how blockchain, AI and other technologies are changing the business landscape and how this will affect the role of the accounting profession with the report, The Way Forward, from Phase 1 of CPA Canada’s Foresight: Reimagining the Profession—an initiative that will create a new strategic direction for the profession over the next 10 years.
For more information on blockchain, including a look at how CPAs are working with the technology today, visit cpacanada.ca/blockchain.