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Blockchain Brings New Level of Trust to Agriculture

Farmers Edge and Standards Council of Canada unite to establish a framework for agricultural blockchain interoperability, setting the stage for improved global traceability standards

Farmers Edge, a global leader in digital agriculture, and Standards Council of Canada (SCC), the nation’s leading voice on international standards and accreditation, announced a partnership to change the face of traceability in the global food market. Working together with a Canadian standards development organization and the support of the Protein Industries Supercluster, they will develop a Canadian Technical Specification that provides the framework and guidance for agriculture blockchain interoperability across the nation, with the goal to expand standardization internationally.

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While blockchain technology has gained momentum in other industries, its use within the agricultural sector has been limited due to data sparsity and inconsistency. Farmers Edge brings a unique digital infrastructure—powered by real-time, field-level data sets and Artificial Intelligence—to better understand the capacity for data transfer throughout the supply chain. With effective standardization, blockchain technology can reduce transaction costs and improve data exchange through a transparent, decentralized, and secure process.

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Food safety is a top concern amongst consumers and regulators globally. The World Health Organization estimates that 420,000 people die annually from food contamination, which affects one in 10 people worldwide. Additionally, consumer needs are changing at a rapid pace with increased intakes of plant proteins, non-GMO, and organic diets; this shift is fueling the demand for more transparency at all stages of the supply chain putting companies at risk that are unable to deliver it. Blockchain can mitigate risk by providing complete traceability for all stakeholders through verified crop records, from farm to fork.

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“At Farmers Edge, we live and breathe data,” says Wade Barnes, Farmers Edge CEO and co-founder. “We understand the immense power it has on protecting the industry and feeding the world’s growing population. With the support of SCC and the standardization network, we’re able to develop a protocol that will result in increased trust and connectivity across the digital agricultural ecosystem. From settling transactions and tracing food origins to improving efficiency and tracking new market opportunities, blockchain will have a transformative effect on the agricultural industry. As a Canadian company, we’re proud to be at the forefront of this initiative as we strive to set a path for global interoperability.”

“Standardization is an ideal way to ensure interoperability and transparency along the agri-food value chain, which is comprised of many players with their own operating procedures,” says Chantal Guay, SCC’s CEO. “Supporting this project through our Innovation Initiative will help advance the use of Canadian technologies, facilitate participation of Canadian leadership in blockchain standards, and enable technological advancement across the agricultural sector.”

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