The FDA is working on a mandate for tracking food across the entire supply chain, potentially giving a boost to blockchain-enabled tracing.
Frank Yiannas, deputy FDA commissioner for food policy and response, told the Wall Street Journal that the agency wants to bring out a traceability rule by November. It would require growers, shippers, processors, retailers and others to maintain mutually accessible records around critical tracking events in the supply chain.
If the rule goes through, blockchain technology probably will be the best option for maintaining such records. Blockchain, the technology used to enable cryptocurrency, allows participants to maintain digital transaction records that can be accessed but not altered.
Walmart and other retailers are already using blockchain technology to trace shipments of leafy greens and other foods. Yiannis told the Journal that the pandemic will give the industry an added incentive to participate in ledgers for tracing: “The pandemic and the lessons learned and the final proposed food traceability rule are going to be a lot of wind in the sails.”