HEC-Ecole de gestion de l'Université de Liège
HEC-Ecole de gestion de l'Université de Liège

Challenges and opportunities of using blockchain technology in the food supply chain. Focus on organic food supply chain

Perpete, Sarah ULiège
Promotor(s) : Bay, Maud ULiège
Date of defense : 2-Sep-2020/8-Sep-2020 • Permalink :
Title : Challenges and opportunities of using blockchain technology in the food supply chain. Focus on organic food supply chain
Author : Perpete, Sarah ULiège
Date of defense  : 2-Sep-2020/8-Sep-2020
Advisor(s) : Bay, Maud ULiège
Committee's member(s) : Limbourg, Sabine ULiège
Baratto, Marie ULiège
Language : English
Number of pages : 115
Keywords : [en] Supply Chain – Blockchain – Distributed Ledger – Smart Contract – Technology – Information – Food – Food safety
Discipline(s) : Business & economic sciences > Production, distribution & supply chain management
Target public : Professionals of domain
Institution(s) : Université de Liège, Liège, Belgique
Degree: Master en ingénieur de gestion, à finalité spécialisée en Supply Chain Management and Business Analytics
Faculty: Master thesis of the HEC-Ecole de gestion de l'Université de Liège


[en] Nowadays, the regulations applied to the food sector are becoming more and more stringent. They are regularly reviewed and updated in order to ensure the safety of the food chain in the most efficient way possible. However, safety problems still occur on a regular basis. The key is to be able to manage these problems without consequences for the health of consumers. Despite today's highly developed means of communication, it is often difficult to avoid the consequences of these problems. The recall or withdrawal of these problematic products is complicated to organize due to a lack of transparency and collaboration between the different actors in a supply chain.
The purpose of this paper is to analyse the challenges and opportunities of a data storage technology, the blockchain, in order to improve the sharing of information between the different operators of a supply chain with a focus on organic food supply chain. The usage of the blockchain within this work is to allow operators to share among other thingsf their production data in a transparent and secure distributed ledger as well as to automate some operations.
Through research in the scientific literature and interviews with experts and companies active in the food sector, this paper outlines the characteristics of the food sector and the details of the regulations as well as the principles governing blockchain technology. On the basis of this literature review, links are established between the concept of food supply chain and blockchain. A graphical model illustrating the use of blockchain within a food supply chain is constructed and allows to represent a model of information sharing between operators using blockchain technology. Among the opportunities of this model, we find the transparency of the data allowing a better traceability, an improvement of the collaboration between the actors as well as the security of the transmitted information.
Some conditions are essential to the implementation of such a project and can be very challenging in its development. Among these conditions we find the need for a good basis of collaboration and trust between the actors so that they agree to share information. In addition, companies must have a minimum level of digitalization in order to be able to consider this project. At the present time, the technology is not yet sufficiently known by the operators of the food supply chain. It would be necessary to initiate discussions with stakeholders in order to demonstrate the benefits of this technology.



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  • Perpete, Sarah ULiège Université de Liège > Master ingé. gest., à fin.


Committee's member(s)

  • Limbourg, Sabine ULiège Université de Liège - ULiège > HEC Liège : UER > UER Opérations : Logistique
    ORBi View his publications on ORBi
  • Baratto, Marie ULiège Université de Liège - ULiège > HEC Liège : UER > UER Opérations: Rech. opérationnelle et gest. de la product.
    ORBi View his publications on ORBi
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