Blockchain and Sustainability in Supply Chain

Our Horticulture industry is suffering from enormous losses mainly because of the lack of proper infrastructure for storage and transportation under controlled conditions. Lack of visibility in the supply chain has led to quality problems arising most of the times leading to product wastage, recalls, rising cost and time delays. On top of that the changing lifestyle and an open economy have virtually forced the manufacturer/supplier to produce superior quality goods.

Several factors are driving an emphasis on this supply chain management. First, the cost and availability of information between the various entities in the supply chain allow easy linkages that eliminate time delays in the network. Second, the level of competition in both domestic and international markets requires organizations to be fast, agile and flexible. Third, customer expectations and requirements are becoming much more stringent. So to satisfy the consumers, SCM should operate with two major objectives timeliness and quality.

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Now, coming to how Blockchain will help the Horticulture Supply Chain manage the above two issues.

Improved Visibility – The registration of transfer of goods, in our case flowers and plants on a Blockchain ledger will help promote visibility, identifying all parties involved in a transaction, the condition , quality and price of the flowers as well as date and location of each transaction. The availability of such detailed information to all involved parties from the farmer to the customer helps to ensure data integrity. As Blockchain is a decentralized in structure, no single party will be able to have ownership of data or manipulate it for their personal advantage.

Elimination of errors and faster response to issues - With this technology, recording, tracking, verifying properties of flowers and plants from the name of the nursery where its grown to garden picture, plucking month, soil report, production conditions etc will be linked and shared in real time. It can effectively reduce human errors, while eliminating costs and time delays that plague transactions in today's supply chains. For example, if the plant is found to be damaged due to some reason it can be immediately stopped from being transported to the consumer thus reducing cost as well as time.

Ensuring QualityCorporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives are anticipated to benefit from the secure record of product history which provides proof that raw materials or products were generated from acceptable sources. Like whether the flowers were ethically hosted using green servers with 100% green electricity, whether the flower packaging was done using biodegradable materials – all such data will help to create a sustainable ecosystem.

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Also, a socially aware consumer may demand for information that goes beyond what a basic flower label may offer. Provenance of a product is considered a vital piece of information these days. Consumers, especially within niche markets like organic food, are increasingly willing to pay for products that provide such kind of information.

 If horticulture brands want to earn customer trust for a sustainable process, they need to make it incredibly easy for consumers to view the complete product journey including provenance and supplier/wholesaler information so as to make a better choice.

Through our product QlikTrust, built on Blockchain, our goal would be to build a sustainable supply chain ecosystem, so as to meet today’s demand while keeping in mind the needs of our future. QlikTrust provides transparent and ethical sourcing to auditing via Blockchain based registry to finally issuing a sustainable dossier for easy verification.

Using QlikTrust, the producer would stay compliant and be transparent at all times and thus drive sales by boosting customer confidence. As for the auditor, they can keep track of the compliance processes, automate audits for cost and effort savings with the seamless and real time availability of records.

Customers would have ready access to complete provenance information with raised awareness on the sustainable and followed ethical processes.