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Episode 7: How blockchain is making your food safer and smarter


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Listen to this IBM Blockchain Pulse Podcast episode and others on iTunes, Spotify, TuneIn and Stitcher.

Do you trust the food you eat?

Episode 7: How blockchain is making your food safer and smarter 1

These days, more weight is being placed on conscious consumerism and people are beginning to really care about where they’re getting their food.

Blockchain, like so much technology, is generally agnostic. Its ultimate function is to make our lives easier, fuller, and richer. Food is also designed to make our lives easier, fuller, and richer — and trusting the food we eat is serious! People’s health is so often linked to the food they have access to, and when it’s not taken seriously, the results can be tragic. The global food supply chain needs to be made transparent and blockchain is the technology that can make this possible.

Explore food traceability with IBM Food Trust

This week on IBM Blockchain Pulse, your host Matt Hooper’s guests are Dr. Nigel Gopie, the Head of Marketing for IBM Blockchain, and Alicia Noel, researcher of international food supply chain innovation, with a focus on blockchain applications, as well as the founder of Cultivati. Today, they’re going to be talking about issues that directly affect everyone listening! It’s about the food you eat — where it comes from, where it’s going, where it’s been — and of course, the many powerful ways blockchain is being used for food traceability and agriculture.

Tune in to learn about how blockchain is improving accountability and traceability when it comes to where we get our food from; how IBM Food Trust is creating a smarter, safer food supply; how blockchain is economically impacting the communities that are responsible for supplying the food that we eat, and some of the success stories of those who have embraced the quest for transparency in the food supply chain.

Financial fraud can be damaging but it can also be tracked down and corrected. Why shouldn’t the food we eat be held equally accountable?

Key Takeaways

[:01] About today’s episode and guests.

[4:28] Matt Hooper welcomes on guests, Nigel Gopie and Alicia Noel.

[5:00] Nigel and Alicia introduce themselves.

[5:08] Alicia speaks about how she originally became interested in the supply chain of food.

[10:50] Nigel shares how he became interested in this space (and in regard to his role at IBM).

[12:54] How did Nigel and Alicia meet?

[13:54] How are Nigel and Alicia meeting fellow Food Trust enthusiasts and those involved in food and agriculture blockchain online?

[15:57] How do Nigel and Alicia get offline and travel the world to meet people in this space and see these different operations?

[17:28] Is Nigel seeing people get excited about what blockchain can enable in the food and agriculture space?

[18:24] Matt provides some context on IBM Food Trust and how it works.

[19:18] Nigel continues his thought on what people get excited about what blockchain can enable.

[21:57] Alicia explains how blockchain is helping to create accountability and traceability in terms of getting safe food.

[25:43] Nigel shares how blockchain the solve the problem of people who are enslaved or being taken advantage of to make the things that we buy and eat beyond just shining a light on it.

[27:41] Nigel and Alicia highlight some success stories that make that have embraced this quest for transparency and understand the global dilemma around food.

[31:05] Nigel and Alicia explain how blockchain is economically impacting the communities that are responsible for growing/catching/making the food that we eat.

[34:44] What does it mean to eat/drink/buy something that is ‘locally sourced?’ And how can you make informed choices as an average consumer to make sure your food is ethically sourced?

[38:42] Nigel explains the role of IBM Food Trust in this whole process.

[39:38] Alicia and Nigel highlight successful blockchain use cases where a sizeable waste reduction was achieved by changing up how a certain process was done.

[41:36] What do Alicia and Nigel hope to see years from now with regard to how blockchain will help food and agriculture?

[44:50] Matt thanks Alicia and Nigel for joining him this episode!

[45:07] Where to find and connect with Alicia online.

[45:50] Where to learn more about the work Nigel is doing and connecting with him online.

Sources mentioned

Portlandia Skit
2008 Chinese Melamine Milk Scandal
2013 Horse Meat Scandal in Europe
Twitter @Cultivati
Twitter @AventurerAlicia
Twitter @Analyticsbytes

Follow-up with our guests

Nigel Gopie’s LinkedIn
Alicia Noel’s LinkedIn

Looking for more episodes?

Visit IBM Blockchain — and for news and updates, follow @IBMBlockchain on Twitter!

Tweetables – For social media

“When I saw [blockchain] from both a strategist [perspective] and as a psychologist, I thought, ‘This technology is going to fundamentally change everything we know about how we engage and interact with each other,’ and food is this thing that we can all be a part of and … bridges [the gap between cultures.]” — Nigel Gopie

“Blockchain … is really allowing you to share information in a secure, ‘permissioned’ way.” — Nigel Gopie

“We have benefited greatly from a modern food system, [but] there are, unfortunately … some aspects that we need to pay attention to because it’s now more complex than it ever was before.” — Nigel Gopie

“Blockchain is for everyone. Everyone can really play a role in getting value from it.”

— Nigel Gopie

“There’s a lack of trust. And this is pervasive in a lot of areas [in China], especially around food because that melamine in the … baby formula event was not the first time that people had problems with the food supply chain.” — Alicia Noel

“I’d like to know that the people that I care about … feel that the food that they’re buying they can trust; that they can give it to their children and not worry it’s going to kill them.” — Alicia Noel

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