"Companies are losing money, and customers are losing faith. Food fraud is estimated to cost the global food industry US$30 to $40 billion every year. But that’s just the economic cost."
"Beyond the financial impact food fraud can lead to serious public health risks and damage brands. Trust in food is being challenged as your fraud vulnerabilities increase."
John Spink, Michigan State University
Food & beverage is a multi-trillion-dollar globalised industry. The supply chain has become a global conveyor belt, with myriad businesses and disparate information systems that don’t communicate – often by choice.
An unwelcome side effect of this unwieldy system is that it is increasingly prone to conscious or accidental fraud, corruption and contamination. These can cause damage to reputation and perceived integrity (e.g. fake Manuka honey) and even pose a threat to human life (e.g. melamine in infant milk formula).
In the age of technology & information, consumers are becoming increasingly aware and concerned about issues of sourcing and authenticity. As changing industry and consumer situations come into conflict, the potential for a crisis in consumer confidence has multi-billion-dollar consequences.
There are trillions of items and data flows which need to be tracked and all of that data is held in different systems and authored by sometimes unknown parties.
There can be many steps across multiple geographies and systems on a product's journey to the consumer.
Criminals can make millions easily if they can find the gaps in the systems and insert fake or unsafe product.
Technological evolution has led to the disruption of multiple sectors in recent years, yet information about the food we eat has remained siloed and unavailable.
Although so many other industries having been successfully disrupted in recent years (retail, social media, transportation), there is no comparable innovation for the back-stage workings of food production. Information about the food we eat tends to be limited to what brands are willing to tell consumers. And consumers can’t be sure they’re being told the truth.
The biggest challenge in the food supply chain is getting beyond the ‘one-up and one-back’ approach to supply chain management and achieve real transparency in the supply chain. This traditional approach is driven by the difficulty of obtaining data from diverse actors in the supply chain.
For many core ingredients there are few suppliers, many manufacturers and very many consumers. Food manufacturers cannot expose the source of ingredients for various reasons, including competition.
Claims about food, such as GMO free or organic are attractive to food companies seeking a competitive advantage or greater transparency. However, it can prove challenging to ensure that they are truthful and adequately-substantiated.
There are more and more actors between the food producer and the consumer. This increases the opportunity for both fraud and safety issues.
New regulatory requirements will continue to drive costs up. Food producers also spend large amounts on regulatory compliance during recall events due to human errors, as many of these processes are completed manually and product cannot easily be identified in market.
Without consistent data format, and anonymity, data disaggregation can occur and result in food reaching consumers when it should not. Each of the supply chain actors has varying, often changing, methods to report critical data.
The potential for blockchain to help overcome the previously intransigent issues in food transparency will lead consumers to ask brand owners why they are not sharing information about how food was produced, who produced it, what the brand values really are and where their food came from.
Matrex® is at the vanguard of blockchain developments in the food and beverage industry. It provides an answer to decades of information asymmetry that prevents transparency.
Matrex®’s blockchain solution helps food brands validate and seamlessly share information with consumers about their products’ origin, social impact and wellbeing. It provides consumers with information at point of purchase that helps them make buying choices that align with their values.
Compared to the current methods of capturing, validating and sharing food traceability data, Matrex® is better for consumers and food brands in every way.
Our blockchain-based ecosystem allows:
Using our unique MatrexID identity tokens to ensure that much needed data can be written to a common record, but that competitors can’t see the elements of someone else’s supply chain.
Using machine learning, data is validated and tested for plausibility- dealing with the risk of garbage in and garbage out and ensuring inconsistent data is not carried across the supply chain and is dealt with before product is delivered to consumers.
Engage with anyone’s blockchain or product identification solution and use of global data standards such as GS1-EPCIS reduces the complexity of participating in the ecosystem.
The speed and ease at which parties can validate transparency information will see significantly improved consumer experiences for our food brand customers.
By applying tried and true payments systems practices to food transparency data on the Matrex®, we can identify and alert problems. By making data provision to the Matrex®, via MatrexID blockchain tokens, easy and simple, we can help food brands and consumers get the transparency they deserve, as well as make the world a better place by making decision making truly informed.
25+ years in supply chain software and traceability and barcoding. 15 years’ payments processing and software experience. 15 years medical records data processing experience. 10 years’ experience in logistics and goods delivery execution and postal services software.
30 years’ experience in payments processing and intermediation for financial institutions and privately-owned enterprises. 30 years’ experience in software development and data processing of complex business rules in a transactional environment.
Over 15 years’ experience architecting and implementing large-scale websites and internet-native applications using a wide range of technologies.
Matt has 15 years in web & mobile strategy and development, including cloud architecture, 8 years international consumer marketing and branding, 10 years as a journalist and editor covering tech, business and innovation.
5 years’ experience in full stack development and in manufacturing systems.
20 years’ experience in software, food traceability solutions and in customer experience.
Experience in project managing complex software deployments in the meat and honey sectors. Has a Bachelor of Business majoring in Information Systems.
Experienced in development user facing web applications in food businesses, including dairy, honey, nutraceutical, meat and OTC pharmaceutical industries.
35+ years’ experience in global supply chain & retail enterprises at senior exec and governance level. 10+ years’ experience as director and chair of government and publicly listed enterprises.
30 years’ experience at senior exec and governance level in logistics and goods delivery (e.g. as Chairman of Fastway Couriers prior to the sale to Aramex).