The Argentine government, on October 2, issued a statement through the National Service of agro-food Health and Quality (SENASA) announcing the implementation of blockchain technology to further secure traceability of citrus fruits. The technology will be incorporated within a new version of the Citrus Traceability Information System (SITC) that ensures traceability of citrus products that are exported to the European Union as well as the U.S., China, Mexico, South Korea, and other markets.
The SITC has been operating to control the export of fresh citrus fruits since 2003. The new version powered by blockchain will not only streamline the entire existing workflow but is also likely to ensure that no confidential data is being modified throughout the process.
The significance of this blockchain-powered control system is that it will now allow authorities to certify the quality of the exported fruits and, as a result, be able to avoid the shipment of contaminated fruits that cannot be processed or consumed. Built upon the federal blockchain network, this neoteric system will improve transparency in the processes and help control fraud, thus helping reduce misplaced shipments.
Despite the transparency of this new system, the statement has also highlighted that there has to be a certain amount of trust and confidence in each of the sectors contributing to the production and marketing chain.
The development of this state-of-the-art system has been carried out, keeping alignment with the technical guidelines of Blockchain Federal Argentina (BFA). The technology behind this system will now allow transparency across the entire process starting from production to marketing of the fruit through a single QR code that is accessible by anyone using a mobile phone. The Argentine Citrus Federation has acknowledged this initiative as one of the foremost global implementations of blockchain technology in the fresh fruit production sector. Besides supporting compliance with the protocols signed with the countries of destination of the fruit, the new version of SITC also adds value to the exported product as it provides maximum security in the data supporting the origin and processes.
The applications of blockchain have now shifted way beyond the original purpose behind its creation. As it allows unmodifiable handling and control of data, different areas of the food industry are exploiting its benefits by achieving unprecedented transparency and security.
Argentina, in addition to citrus production, has already incorporated blockchain technology to enhance the traceability of beef produced in the country and has been able to achieve greater added value. Also, other countries of the region have undertaken several blockchain projects that seek to guarantee the traceability of other raw materials such as coffee and cocoa.