UNISOT's new track and trace technology bites back in the fight against global food fraud

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This article is brought to you by Retail Technology Review: UNISOT's new track and trace technology bites back in the fight against global food fraud.

In the aftermath of the recent Nestle E. coli outbreak, the false labelling controversy of foreign pork as British, the UK honey debacle, and a plethora of other cases, the prevalence of food fraud is at an all-time high.

Major organisations such as Tesco, Burger King, Heinz, and Cadbury, have been impacted by serious food fraud incidents over the past decade. This 'shadow economy' currently impacts over 10% of the global supply chain and costs the industry $40billion annually, according to The Consumer Brands Association.

It is not only the economic impact of food fraud, but also potential health consequences and knock-on, reputational damage for brands across the sector. According to NFU Mutual, 72% of consumers believe there to be an issue with food fraud in the UK, and only 12% have confidence in the European food chain.

Food integrity has been a growing issue for policymakers, food systems, and consumers for many years. Traceability is essential to track products from source to point of sale with information incorporated from multiple sources about the origin, storage conditions, and product quality. The decentralised nature of blockchain technology can enable the global interoperability that supply chain traceability requires to create widespread and much-needed change across the industry. 

Blockchain-powered track and trace solutions, being built by companies such as European firm UNISOT, bring traceability and transparency to every step of the supply chain via Digital Product Passports (DPP). The DPP provides information from raw materials, components, manufacturing locations, cold chain integrity, accreditation, certifications, carbon footprint, to waste recycling – compiled from the various actors across a supply chain - to both manufacturers and end users. Accessed by simply scanning a QR code, the DPP helps consumers to make better-informed purchase decisions, and offers the opportunity for suppliers to demonstrate greater accountability. 

UNISOT’s solution is powered by nChain blockchain technology, which not only makes this a reality, but enables UNISOT to expediently roll out the application globally, due to its unique characteristics: scalability, integrity, availability, efficiency, and, most importantly, stability. 

Stephan Nilsson, Co-Founder of UNISOT commented: “We felt the time was right to offer a blockchain solution to the food industry to help them verify products entering the consumer market. Food suppliers need to demonstrate transparency across the global supply chain, via a standardized system to track and authenticate products. Manufacturers and consumers have been demanding this for years, with the DPP facilitating the ability to simply scan a label and view data via the application.’

The UNISOT platform enables manufacturers to fulfil legal and ethical requirements - compliance with EC Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence (CSDD) rules, the Digital Product Passport (DPP), and the EC Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation (ESPR), proposed and obligated by the European Commission to promote transparency. According to the EC, these regulations will impact the majority of European food businesses, as customers demand more sustainable and informed choices in the coming years.

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