Blockchain's Acceptance in a Conservative Supply Chain

Frederik Hove Kaalhauge & Bence Juhasz

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

In the face of recent food scandals, such as the E.coli infected cucumbers that killed 16 customers, and a growing awareness amongst the environmentally concerned consumers, sustainability, traceability and transparency is becoming indispensable and a non negotiable demand. Intricate supply chains struggle with providing a fail proof trusting network. This is critical within the fresh produce industry, where epidemics can cost customers their lives, ruin a brand’s reputation, and cripple a country's economies. Blockchain is a proven solution that provides shared ledger, an effective way of achieving a distributed consensus in a dynamic and unreliable network. However these features are in some industries seen as transgressive. In the Spanish table grape supply chain destined for Denmark, this is the case. A mutually trusting environment is the assuring body, and does not call for any technological alternatives. We investigated the supply chain to understand its operations and transactions, along with its pain points to uncover why does blockchain not appeal to some stakeholders, and what is necessary for it to be accepted. We reveal that blockchain has a long way to go and may not be necessary the fresh produce industry within Europe. The nature of the business is based on human trust and relationships, making blockchain irrelevant. However a simple form of blockchain, TraceChain, is suggested to ease the skepticism and provide traceability for food safety concerns. At last, we propose that if blockchain were to come into play, the farm-assuring program GlobalG.A.P are well integrated within the entire chain, that they are the ideal candidate to carry out the implementation process.

EducationsMSc in Management of Innovation and Business Development, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageEnglish
Publication date2018
Number of pages117
SupervisorsPankaj Kumar