BLOCKCHAIN BASED TRACKING OF COTTON SUPPLY CHAIN - COTTONTRACK
Genetically modified (GM) cotton was first introduced into cultivation in the mid-1990s and has since occupied an ever-increasing share of global cotton production, being characterized as the most commercially successful GM cultivation in the world. Given the risks of globalization of the agri-food market and the negative economic impact that the introduction of GM products on European cotton competitiveness, it is necessary to have a sound process of confirmation of origin and quality throughout the value chain. In this context, CottonTrack aims to support and modernize existing field identification and tracking capabilities of cotton products across the entire supply chain, so that the stakeholders and the end consumer can immediately identify products and boost their confidence in the manufacturing sector.
CottonTrack aims to develop an electronic access system for data entry, management and governance that will provide all the necessary information from the field and the producer, to the ginning plant, the intermediate stages to the final product, and its handling in the supply chain. It will consist of a management environment where each stakeholder will be able to enter relevant production certifications and metadata such as production date, release date, coding, barcode etc and other elements that contribute to traceability throughout the logistics value chain.
All involved, from the producer to the consumer, will be able to trace and display the features of a product through special interfaces developed for web and mobile devices. The use of Blockchain technology ensures data integrity and can therefore enhance confidence in the value of cotton products and thus their competitive advantage, as well as facilitate the creation of a “Quality Certification” system for cotton origins and cultivation practices.
Stage of development
The design and development of the blockchain technology platform will be based on the existing relevant know-how and research results of CERTH/ITI such as: (a) Blockchain-as-a-Service applications (BaaS), demonstrating extensive experience in developing smart contracts and decentralized apps (dApps) for privacy preserving logging and auditing mechanisms, identity management and data handling and (b) various blockchain applications in research projects in Agrifood, Energy, Health and other sectors.
Challenge and needs
Α prior art search is under development
Potential markets and targets
The suggested concept can be implemented to many other and more generalized Blockchain based Supply Chain Traceability solutions for the wider Agro-Bioeconomy sector. Towards this end, more and more collaborations are emerging, such as Barilla2, an Italian pasta maker, and Walmart's US chain with IBM3 to address transparency and traceability in the agri-food production and supply cycle4. Provenance5 also works to enable businesses to build trust in their products and supply chains using mobile, blockchain and open data supported software. This ensures food safety and also contributes to reducing food fraud and increasing brand reputation.
The CottonTrack project would be looking for partners in the Cotton processing value chain. Special focus would be on the stakeholders who are active and working alongside producers and further actors of the supply chain. Their unique positioning can facilitate access to both producers and cotton processors, which can in turn provide significant value of the proposed technological solution, in terms of quality of raw material as well as supporting them to increase their profitability based on the resulting quality certifications of cotton origins and cultivation practices.