Last week I finally got around to setting up the bulk of my google alerts, including words like transparency and phrases like trust supplements, industry trust and supply chain. It’s an interesting exercise, especially for the generic words because, unlike most of our usual range of vision, this exercise takes us outside the scope of our own navel-gazing and industry, (be that food, beverage, supplements). It takes us into other regulatory environments and expectation sets. And it takes us frequently into the general realm where we see every day challenges facing government (transparency in operations and use of funds), banks (big trust and transparency issues) and every so often, other larger industries facing the same trust and credibility issues we often see facing the dietary supplement industry.
Examining my results over the last week, and aligning well with a personal topic I’ve been following quite closely the past 60 days, we find the term ‘blockchain’ becoming more and more apparent. According to Fortune magazine (May 2016), a blockchain is a way to structure data and is based on a coding strategy that eliminates the need for a central authority to verify, and validate transactions since the ledger is simultaneously distributed across a network of computers rather than using a single server. The platform is tamperproof, and obviously has major implications for financial institutions. For the last few weeks, the term has appeared pretty much daily, as the implications begin to transcend financial markets.
While the implications for the banks are pretty obvious, I’ve now seen a few posts talking about blockchain implications for supply chain security and the prevention and elimination of food fraud. Food fraud and food adulteration are serious issues. With the current global focus on food safety, and with the potential need for lightning speed recall, as well as supply chain examination, technologies like blockchain can have a major impact on global food safety and security. And in addition, it’s a system designed to increase transactional trust.
Now, with some of the trust issues facing the supplement market, I’m betting blockchain becomes a much more familiar term in the not too distant future.
Watch this space…
~Len Monheit, Co-Managing Partner, Trust Transparency Consulting