Blockchains are digital ledger platforms that can be shared by participants such as all players in a supply chain. Secure, private industry ledgers establish a single immutable record, or single version of the digital truth, that once entered, cannot be modified. This includes data on products, shipments, deliveries, financial closings and more. In supply chain applications it can also be used to communicate electronic data interchange (EDI) codes and more, with EDI standards from barcode standards organization GS1 now supporting block chain.
Blockchain startups have mushroomed in agriculture markets as companies seek to cut costs and boost efficiency. The technology also offers greater transparency in supply chains as consumers become more interested in where their food comes from. Crop giants including Bunge Ltd., Cargill Inc. and Viterra have teamed up to start their own ledger system Covantis SA.