Third Party Certification of Agri-Food Supply Chain Using Smart Contracts and Blockchain Tokens

Sensors (Basel). 2021 Aug 6;21(16):5307. doi: 10.3390/s21165307.


Every consumer's buying decision at the supermarket influences food brands to make first party claims of sustainability and socially responsible farming methods on their agro-product labels. Fine wines are often subject to counterfeit along the supply chain to the consumer. This paper presents a method for efficient unrestricted publicity to third party certification (TPC) of plant agricultural products, starting at harvest, using smart contracts and blockchain tokens. The method is capable of providing economic incentives to the actors along the supply chain. A proof-of-concept using a modified Ethereum IGR token set of smart contracts using the ERC-1155 standard NFTs was deployed on the Rinkeby test net and evaluated. The main findings include (a) allowing immediate access to TPC by the public for any desired authority by using token smart contracts. (b) Food safety can be enhanced through TPC visible to consumers through mobile application and blockchain technology, thus reducing counterfeiting and green washing. (c) The framework is structured and maintained because participants obtain economic incentives thus leveraging it´s practical usage. In summary, this implementation of TPC broadcasting through tokens can improve transparency and sustainable conscientious consumer behaviour, thus enabling a more trustworthy supply chain transparency.

Keywords: ERC-1155; ERC-20; Ethereum tokens; agri-food; blockchain; distributed ledger technology; green-washing; non fungible tokens; supply chain; third party certification.

MeSH terms

  • Agriculture
  • Blockchain*
  • Certification
  • Confidentiality
  • Food Supply
  • Humans