A new blockchain-powered business network has been launched by BlockApps in collaboration with Bayer. The TraceHarvest Network is set to transform the way agricultural products are managed, setting new standards in sustainability, and driving digital transformation and food system resiliency critical to the future of the agriculture industry.
The Ethereum-based network enhances food quality, safety and sustainability by bringing supply chain efficiencies, transparency, compliance and stewardship to agricultural products. Bayer has served as a founding member and active user of the network for live, customer-facing operations over the past two years in regions including the United States and Brazil, with further plans to expand globally. It used TraceHarvest over the course of several growing seasons to track the lifecycle and status of the company’s highest-value agricultural products, including soybeans and corn, from sale and planting through harvest.
The company believes TraceHarvest will help farmers of all sizes access new markets and services, increasing their livelihoods through the ability to offer new premium products. Through access to improved supply chain information, the platform also enables farmers to optimise their own operations. Member farmers, manufacturers, distributors and processors can use the network to track where their products are going, providing them with full visibility into the source of their crops.
The network has the potential to be leveraged for other impactful use cases such as carbon offset crediting to food safety recalls, promoting both sustainability and consumer well-being. Through this platform, information across the lifecycle of agricultural products can provide insights to drive and reward sustainable practices throughout the food supply chain.
Full track and trace from the seed source
The BlockApps TraceHarvest Network is the first blockchain solution of its kind to track and trace the full lifecycle of agricultural products starting at the seed source. For products like seeds, this provides a full picture of stewardship as they are sold, exchanged, planted, harvested and processed. In collaboration with the Crop Science Division at Bayer, the platform has been built and tested to the highest industry standard for traceability and provides a first and best-in-class solution for the grain industry.
Farmers, manufacturers, distributors and processors can selectively share and review data within a single, secure platform, making activities available to the entire chain. This streamlined engagement and real-time information exchange allows all parties to identify and address product tracking and integrity issues faster than previous manual processes allowed.
Unfortunately, current analogue processes create significant costs in labour and resources and fail to deliver the data that farmers and other value chain participants need. Such inefficiencies also put businesses at risk of compliance violations across the supply chain and in multiple geographies. TraceHarvest brings agricultural products to market faster, helps safely launch new products in approved regions and traces them accurately to provide strong proof of compliance with international regulations, according to BlockApps and Bayer.
The TraceHarvest Network runs on BlockApps’ cloud-agnostic STRATO platform, a flexible, enterprise-grade, Ethereum-based blockchain solution for building and running business networks with built-in security. This shared infrastructure incentivises greater cooperation and collaboration between businesses and farmers.
“Blockchain technology is already revolutionising the agriculture industry, and we’re leading the way thanks to our partnership with the Crop Science Division at Bayer, which has turned this concept from idea into reality,” said Kieren James-Lubin, president and CEO at BlockApps.
“TraceHarvest is highly scalable, which is crucially important because it allows members to add more business processes, use cases and tech integrations into the very same network. For example, network members will be able to collaborate with downstream food producers to extend tracking of agricultural products even further down the value chain and ultimately verify claims made about their ingredients and sustainability practices,” he continued.
“By enabling the traceability of products throughout the food supply chain, TraceHarvest will provide a basis for new solutions and services around the food quality and transparency questions that are top-of-mind for farmers and consumers,” added Sascha Israel, Bayer Crop Science CIO and head of digital transformation.
“The TraceHarvest platform will enable our traditional and non-traditional business partners throughout the food value chain to explore new products, services and business models. Trusting in the stewardship of agricultural products is essential to navigating the complex ecosystem of modern farming,” concluded Michael Pareles, digital strategy and growth lead at Bayer Crop Science. “Using TraceHarvest in production has allowed us to drive operational efficiencies, create value and have greater visibility, transparency and compliance throughout the entire food supply and value chain.”