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Creating the Blockchain of Food

22 Jun 2017
16:10 - 16:35
Room A

Creating the Blockchain of Food

Session Abstract:

The food system is an extremely complex supply chain, moving billions of pounds of food each year. Food passes through farmers, distributors, processors and retailers, often traveling thousands of miles prior to arriving in the hands of a consumer. In the process, a shipment may be split, repacked or joined with another shipment, further increasing the complexity of the system. Given the vast and nonlinear nature of the supply chain, the food system has become opaque, with limited traceability, information sharing, or even data collection. Five years ago the National Resource Defense Council highlighted the need for additional data as they published the much cited statistic indicating 40% loss in the food system. Although 40% of food is wasted, the inefficiencies are difficult to identify and therefore difficult to eliminate.

The goal of ripe.io is to reconnect the supply chain. We aim to tell the story of a product by promoting transparency along the entirety of the supply chain and assembling the histories of products as they move. We use a software stack consisting of a blockchain, on top of which a hardware solution can plug in and upload its data along the way, creating an internet of food using sensors. These two technologies complement each other, filling in each others weaknesses to provide a robust solution set.

Adopting a longitudinal view to data collection and history in the supply chain presents the potential to restructure marketplaces by introducing new methods of valuing products. Currently fresh fruits and vegetables are brokered with minimal attached information except in the case of high-end artisanal goods. Product differentiation is left to binary labels such as organic and non-GMO which command premiums in price. However through our system, the acquisition of additional accessible data allows for new features to be verified and marketed. For example, the geolocation record could be processed by an algorithm to output calculate the number of food miles traveled by a product, or the distance between the production point and point of sale in order to prove the locality of a product. Additionally, binary labels such as conventional versus organic could be broken down into a spectrum of farming practices such as use of integrated pest management or no-till practices that could each garner consumer followings


Christian Saucier
Chief Technology Officer at ripe.io

Christian is an energetic business leader, software engineer, and blockchain technology pioneer. He created open P2P systems across a variety of industries: fintech (equibit.org), real estate (ubitquity.io), hospitality (thinxsoftware.com), and food supply chain (ripe.io). Christian was a technology management consultant at PriceWaterhouse and IBM for several years; he holds multiple patents in health care technologies.

Christian has appeared on rt.com and spoken on the topic of open peer-to-peer systems at numerous conferences and events including:
– d10e San Francisco – How Fintech Can Empower the Financially Undeserved
– MIT Real Disruption in 2016 – Real Estate Revolution
– All Things Open 2016 – Building on the Shoulders of Giants
– Liberty Forum 2016 – P2P Alternatives to Monopolies
– Cornell University Library – Equibit: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Equity System

Session Tags

End-User, Small / Medium Enterprise

IoT, blockchain, internet of food, smart contracts, supply-chain, agriculture,

CxO, Technical

Intermediate, Beginner




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IoT Slam Internet of Things Conference

IoT Slam Internet of Things Conference