Oracle has partnered with the World Bee Project (WBP) to introduce blockchain technology to the honey supply chain. The tech company will help WBP to develop a “BeeMark” label, guaranteeing honey produce is from ecological and sustainable sources.
Each party involved in the honey supply chain will be able to upload information to a distributed ledger technology (DLT), which will be based on the Oracle Blockchain Platform. As the data uploaded is immutable, the honey will be traceable from hive to store.
The BeeMark will also incorporate data science to monitor information such as the amount of the farmer’s land sued for biodiverse plants.
This is part of a more extensive project with the WBP which aims to investigate the causes behind bee population decline and propose solutions for the management of populations.
The decrease in the bee population is cause for concern. Most food and plants depend on pollination from insects to reproduce.
Honeybees, in particular, are suffering. They have seen their number decline by 25% in Europe since 1999, and a 40% reduction in the US since 2008. As the primary pollinators in the agricultural system, this is a risk for food production.
In addition to developing the BeeMark, Oracle will install technology into beehives across the world to monitor their behavior and health. Monitoring acoustic signals can, for instance, give the beekeeper 21 days’ notice of a swarm.
Oracle has already worked with the WBP to use blockchain to identify fake honey. Information collected from suppliers and uploaded to the Oracle Blockchain Platform helps to guarantee that nothing has been added or subtracted from the honey throughout its journey to the store.
While this initial stage ensured the honey product is genuine, the latest advancement targets sustainability and ecological sources.
Sustainability is a major theme in food traceability. Earlier this week, Nestlé became the first major food producer to join WWF’s OpenSC (open supply chain) to ensure the traceability of its products. OpenSC was founded to increase food source sustainability. It allows consumers to verify the origins of the products they are purchasing by leveraging blockchain technology.
IBM’s Food Trust Network groups together significant partners including Nestlé, Walmart and Carrefour, to improve food traceability through the use of blockchain.