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2 Feb 2019

Esha Chhabra, Wired

The WWF backs blockchain to unpick messy food supply chains

31 January 2019

...[T]he World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has put its considerable weight behind a blockchain-based platform, called OpenSC....

The app uses QR codes to help people learn more about where food comes from, when, how it was produced, and how it travelled along the supply chain. ..."We will have a whole new level of transparency about whether the food we eat is contributing to environmental degradation of habitats and species, as well as social injustice and human rights issues such as slavery," says Dermot O'Gorman, WWF-Australia's CEO.

...Paul Hunyor, who runs BCGDV’s Asia operations, says that the vast majority of such initiatives have been left in the pilot stage, failing to scale. “Traceability is the biggest trend in global retail, supply chain operations, and conservation right now,” he says. “These innovations have the potential to be good for the planet and humanity, but also good for business, and therefore to produce healthy financial returns for investors.”

...By partnering with the WWF, OpenSC wants to tackle supply chains that have historically involved dubious activities, over-extraction or neglected labor standards.

..."We see a great degree of potential for blockchain applications which drive impact on human rights and conservation outcomes," Hunyor says.

Fishing...has its own challenges. Illegal, unreported, and under-regulated fishing costs the global economy up to $23 billion annually and adds up to 20 per cent of the global seafood catch. These illegal ships are hard to track, operating in protected zones on unregistered vessels....OpenSC could verify if a vessel was fishing in a protected area by looking at its GPS locations, coordinated with protected zones, the vessel's speed, sea depth, and weather depth...

[Companies also mentioned in the report are Walmart, IBM, Austral Fisheries, Woolworths, Singapore Airlines, and Konrad Brits]