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The food produced in farms travels miles before it reaches our tables—being vulnerable to numerous risks that pertain to climate change and biodiversity loss.
With emerging technologies, food traceability has shifted to a data-driven approach with the aim to closely track and trace products. Similarly, with the implementation of blockchain technology in supply chain management, an improved efficiency of products and services is expected.
One such traceability platform is TraceX Technologies, that builds climate resilient and sustainable supply chains to enhance trust and value for business.
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In an exclusive interaction with Analytics India Magazine, Srivatsa Sreenivasarao, CEO and co-founder and Anil Nadig, co-founder of TraceX Technologies discuss how the platform implements blockchain powered traceability solutions.
TraceX Technologies is a blockchain-powered agritech platform that enhances supply chain traceability and transparency. Founded in 2019, TraceX aims to build clean, transparent, and traceable supply chains across the food and agriculture ecosystem.
Digitising the supply chain from start to end would mean that all the stakeholders in the supply chain can add, view, and exchange data in real-time. The data collected would act as a single source of information that cannot be altered or tampered with.
CEO Srivatsa Sreenivasarao says that TraceX’s blockchain-powered traceability tool is a cutting-edge solution for addressing supply chain challenges in the food ecosystem.
“Traceability is an important tool that addresses problems due to food hazards, provides reliable product information and guarantees credibility of the product. The farm management system ensures quality of the product with adherence to sustainable practices and the Recall management helps in solving problems of food contamination in the supply chain.”
Jivabhumi, the genesis of TraceX
“Prior to TraceX, we had founded ‘Jivabhumi’, a community-supported social enterprise that connects conscious consumers with local farmers. Through our experience with Jivabhumi, we had a thorough and in-depth understanding of some of the issues plaguing complex food supply chains. This was the genesis for TraceX,” says co-founder Anil Nadig.
‘Jivabhumi’ is a community-supported agriculture initiative that was born with the idea to connect the farmer and the conscious consumer. Launched in July 2015, the venture is a farm-to-table model to provide locally sourced, healthy, and sustainable food for the consumer with a sense of satisfaction for the farmer. It gave the team a deep insight into the various challenges that plague food supply chains.
With traceability gaining relevance today than ever before, more and more consumers are keen to know about the origins and the processes of the food they buy. Anil Nadig believes that, due to the opacity in supply chains, consumers today have no way to trace and track the products they buy.
“Traceability in the supply-chain bridges the information and trust gap among consumers, agri-businesses, and farmers.”
The team believes that transparency builds trust and are on a mission to create credible, connected, and sustainable supply chains for the world.
Role of traceable supply chain for food safety
According to WHO, an estimated 600 million—almost 1 in 10 people—fall ill after eating contaminated food, resulting in the loss of 33 million healthy life years.
This being the scenario, Srivatsa Sreenivasarao emphasises on the need to enhance food traceability in the supply chains. He believes that such traceability is one of the main preventive measures to check the spread of food contamination and to achieve maximum food safety.
“Food companies are accountable for the provenance of the food they grow, distribute and sell. The end-to-end visibility of supply chains with real-time traceability, monitoring of product flow along the supply chain and a collaborative platform among the stakeholders helps to build a credible and a secure food supply chain.”
The blockchain-enabled proprietary platform provides end to end traceability reducing tracing times from days to seconds and facilitating accurate and targeted product recalls.
Having received an overwhelming response from the positive impact of their product, TraceX are working towards further enhancing it by leveraging Asset Tokenization (NFTs), AI, ML, IoT to provide digital empowerment to all the participants in the supply chain.
It aims to harness the power of Web3 technologies to build a large distributed autonomous supply chain network for food and agriculture businesses.
“Over the next few months, we plan to extend our offerings to encompass carbon offsets and climate action goals of companies, along with aggressively scaling up operations in international geographies such as Europe and North America,” says Anil Nadig.
Addressing challenges in supply chain
Food and agriculture supply chains over the last few decades have been disrupted due to growing population, globalisation, and increasing health consciousness among consumers.
When asked about initiatives to accelerate technology adoption in the industry, Srivatsa Sreenivasarao said that in order to feed the growing population, agricultural processes should use technology—making it productive and profitable to the smallholder farmers.
“The Sustainable Development Goals provide a vision for global development, and technology can accelerate this process. Blockchain powered traceability solutions are a game changer in the field of agriculture.”
Srivatsa Sreenivasarao also enumerates ways through which blockchain can addresses challenges in supply chains:
- Blockchain bridges the gap between stakeholders by providing unified data with end-to-end visibility. This, in turn, increases the operational efficiency of the supply chain.
- Blockchain-based supply chain systems provide tracking, tracing, and provenance—aiding easy product recall and reduction of food loss.
- The real-time capture of data helps to capture analytics for better insights and saving costs.
- Streamlining of activities like production planning and inventory management boosts productivity and profitability.
- The digital identity given to a product ensures transparency and helps to deliver a safe and sustainable end product to the consumer.
The B2B SaaS platform with its solutions improves efficiency, visibility, and compliance across agriculture and food supply chains.
Pivot in the wake of tech innovations
The co-founders believe that the platform provides a digital identity to every product—by enabling availability of real-time granular information of the product in its life cycle. Meaning, the time-stamped information cannot be altered—which facilitates a seamless transfer of data among the stakeholders with utmost trust and transparency.
TraceX’s Farm Management Solutions and the Post-Harvest management captures the farm-to-fork story of the product along with its social and environmental footprint. It then stores them in digital ledgers.
“TraceX is helping corporates and brands to enable transparent communication between producers and consumers and facilitating decentralised marketplaces for the various stakeholders in the value chain. It also plans to foray into carbon management solutions that rest on the foundations of trust and accountability to deliver a sustainable future. The cloud platform enables better data security, easy traceability, and improved interoperability,” says Anil Nadig.
He further adds that the immutability feature of blockchain helps in non-alteration of data, as it is stored in blocks that are enabled cryptographically—making it unchangeable.
“Each of the blocks contains the hash value of itself as well as the previous one and are retroactively coupled. The distributive and decentralised nature along with consensus mechanism ensures that originality of data is maintained.” This enables the auditability of captured data and builds integrity into the entire ecosystem.
The food traceability market faces challenges from manual data entries and record-keeping systems, fragmented supply chains, shifts in consumer purchase and consumption patterns, along with stringent regulatory requirements.
Addressing these issues, TraceX captures real-time data in immutable ledgers, aids in recall management, and assures food safety. A single source of information helps to establish verifiable data—ensuring product credibility and compliance.