Our Food is in Criminal’s Clutches, Food Fraud is Everywhere
Food fraudsters have been taking advantage of naive consumers and merchants by degrading the quality, ingredients, origin, and sometimes even the brand name. This challenge has long been sidelined by public concern due to the accepted inevitability of it.
Yet, with the emergence of the IT revolution, especially in supply chain management, the world has become equipped with solutions to fight fraud in virtually every segment. The most exciting part of this revolution is that it directly or indirectly impacts each of us. Be our consumption through e-commerce or traditional brick and mortar stores, surety and security is every consumer’s priority.
The Hidden Danger
Despite societal changes towards adoption of laws that deliver greater security, some dangers lurk unseek. In many cases, it’s likely that when you buy olive oil, fish, honey, or wine you’re not buying what is stated on the label.
“Food Criminals, Agromafia, Organized Crime, Tampering, Corruption, Counterfeiting, Smuggling.”
Could you guess that these words are related to the food industry and the products in your kitchen? The food sector, due to the very nature of every human relying on it, is home to one of the most prosperous and lucrative black markets, composed of dangerous, globalized food regimes built on the delivery of false products.
Olive Oil Fraud affects all of us
Let’s take an example of the Olive oil market. Spain is the largest producer of olive oil globally, with an annual production of 6.5 million tons. Being the largest producer, it has been facing numerous adulteration problems. In 2013, Spain received an international judicial request from Italy to negotiate its product quality being exported. Proceeding it, several companies in Spain were investigated for allegedly exporting adulterated oil in the name of authenticated extra virgin oil. Various middle operators sold these oils, or should I call service-man who may temper the quality or adulteration. After investigation, it was reported there were nine intermediate suppliers. They fortified the quality through the process of de-acidification and deodorization, which made them alike extra virgin oils, according to a document obtained by Europa Press.
Note that: A top quality extra virgin oil will be Fruity, Peppery flavored, and have a smell of cut grass, tomato, and artichoke.
Another major trouble is to cope up with testing activities of raw material. We need a unified method internationally to test the quality of Olive oils. If different countries take different testing standards, they will have different results, which surely plummet consumers’ trust. Hence, Symbol Blockchain justifies API based unified and interoperable links within its ecosystems to ensure the same methods have been adopted worldwide. Symbol provides a wide range of data distributed at every node to track the exact proceeding of raw material.
Almost one-third of Shops and Restaurants in US are selling adulterated seafood
A recent investigation in the US fish market came up with shocking results about fish meat’s mislabeling and selling it by false names in many US districts. A Nonprofit organization in the US took samples from 449 shops and restaurants and performed DNA tests, and to their surprise, it was found that about 20% of the pieces were discreetly mislabeled. Almost one-third of all shops and restaurants checked were selling adulterated seafood. Seafood is most often misguided on restaurants menus and smaller markets, and the most common adulterated fish menu is Sea bass (55%) and Snapper (42%).
Fish fraud is a global problem. The World Economic Forum published a severe report. It urged nations for quick and stringent actions to mitigate the fish fraud problem by devising a global strategy using digital data-sharing technology. It also suggested collaborating to trace the network of imports, exports, and supply chains worldwide. Doing that, it called for investment in Blockchain technology to jump from the current paper-based system to the Symbol system.
Wine Fraud is not only a Chinese problem
A recent survey at Forbes declared wine fraud a global problem. It claimed that over 50% of all wine sold in China were mislabeled and adulterated. According to a report, at every hour, 30,000 bottles sold in China were fake labeled. Even Europe is in the clutches of criminals, Counterfeit bottles of the the legendary super Tuscan wine Antinori Toscana Tignanello found its way unhindered to gastronomy and retail in Germany, Belgium, and Switzerland. The symbol here helps both parties, producers, and consumers by a continuous supply of information about what is happening to their goods. It can trace their product’s exact location in no time.
For example, if a consumer wants to purchase a bottle of wine, he/she will rely on label information alone. The manufacturer of wine will depend on the supplier. The supplier will depend on the authentic organization’s certification, which lately relies on grower or producer for the original supply of raw materials. In all this chain, if only one person scams, then the entire chain will get disturbed. Symbol has brought the dynamic revolution to record all the information provided by the farmer while dispatching raw materials. The same information will be provided to all blocks in a chain. And when a consumer comes to buy wine, he/she would be provided with the same information as it was dispatched earlier at the vineyard. Hence, developing a trusted network among its ecosystem.
Eliminating fraud and ensuring the authenticity of fine wine throughout the supply chain with Symbol from NEM
Our Food’s Caped Hero: Technology
Symbol, a development by blockchain pioneer NEM, is stepping in to provide highly secured data to its users by using cryptographic functions over a distributed ledger.
NEM was launched on March 31st, 2015, and is designed to work in a high load ecosystem that connects both the private chain with a local chain in a distributed ledger and bolsters security with overwhelming measures.
Symbol from NEM can work at very high speed and perform a plethora of transactions in a single click directly from consumer to manufacturer. Simultaneously, connecting many users at a single platform, Symbol achieves product traceability, production, and supply with high precise data and security. It regulates continual checks to trace any scam in Blockchain and curtail with stringent measures. ‘Consumers should be entitled to have continuous food quality and safety checks for their satisfaction.’ says Prof. Dr. Michel Nielen, a leading researcher from Wageningen University in the Netherlands.
TL;DR: Blockchain Technology
Blockchain algorithmic technology is welcomed as the next disruption in IT and goes far beyond Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency, which would have been embedded in every business, trading, and supply chain near the future. It stores administrative data in the form of blocks or nodes that are cryptographically secured and persistent. Blockchain brings transparency in the supply chain, which helps to reduce fraud and strengthen food safety. Symbol enables swift and secure transactions while blockchain integrates multiple parties to engage in a comprehensive financial agreement between producer, consumer, distributor, and seller, who verify the contract, quality, and security with their multiple signatures
How does Symbol from NEM work?
Symbol works on DLT (Distributed Ledger Technology), a consensus of digital sharing, and data collaboration worldwide. It includes multiple parties who share their node or block and verify the data in the supply chain as described earlier. It is impossible to detect any fraudster in the conventional supply chain who uses myriad ways to trick consumers and producers. Hence, in blockchain technology, due to the integration of numerous parties in a supply chain, each fraudster can easily be detected at every chain step. Food traceability has become a need of an hour because of these fraudsters’ networks in our supply chain. Thus, the implementation of Symbol in the food industry can resolve many problems and relax its audience with its friendly services.
One of the core projects of the Symbol is its conglomeration with IoT devices. The Symbol works in the dissemination of authentic information along its chain. If a consumer wants to buy something, he/she needs to scan the bar code or use NFC access to make sure the ingredients put at the label are authentic. The customer gets the full chain information regarding the dispatching of raw materials, certifications, import, and export data, manufacturing date, and real price tag mark, which were verified by multi-signature in the blockchain, in a time less than a second.
Symbol Blockchain has an unparalleled contribution to the financial sector and food supply chain. Today, it is at the nascent stage, but it is growing like a whirlwind because it enhances public trust and flexible API (Application Programming Interface).
According to a new report from Juniper Research, Blockchain will enable $31 billion in food fraud savings worldwide by 2024 by continuously tracking food in the supply chain. If this citation keeps going, we will reduce our compliance costs by 30% from 2021
Some key features of Symbol, NEM`s 2.0 development
Some of the reliant features of Symbol are as follows:
- Decentralized technology:
Unlike other conventional systems of the supply chain, Symbol provides multiple server information in which a single person cannot alter data; instead, it is controlled by a community. In short, Symbol puts trust back in your hand through its blockchain technology.
In the blockchain, every transaction is performed in a distributed ledger. The same information is spread all over the nodes, and every node with cryptocurrency will see and endorse the transaction, thus making a transparent and reliable transaction for everyone.
Blockchain is an integral system of people that collaborate for the goodwill of both consumers and producers. In that network, there is no need for any middle-man who builds trust between the two parties. Symbol makes smart contacts to reinforce the food traceability throughout the supply chain by state-of-the-art scanning system and IoT devices.
The most admirable feature of Blockchain technology is its immutability. The data, once made in Blockchain, cannot be tempered in the future. This feature made Blockchain technology the most trustworthy and popular. Many other industries who want to secure their data and prevent any adulteration are switching to blockchain technology.
Apart from its enterprise-friendly approach of immutability, transparency, decentralization, and trust-less transaction, Symbol provides a top notch KYC (Know Your Customer) verification to its customers. KYC, however, offers dynamic security to its system. Criminal entities are well aware of the loopholes in the supply chain in usual practice, and their key focus is to target that loophole with their malicious approach. They try to exploit the algorithm present at that system due to unauthorized loopholes in a chain. Symbol from NEM provides a proactive measure to diminish data breaching by a highly secured algorithm covering the entire chain at a distributed ledger.
Symbol Hash Function:
An exciting application of Symbol at which it works is its Hash function. Hashing means to convert one data into another proxy code to prevent it from scammers. Blockchain transfers millions of data every second. Thus by hashing, it can deliver fast and secured data without intermediaries to other nodes ensuring high professional B2B (Business to Business) financial dealings. Each node is interlinked with another node by a data at each node or hash in the blockchain. Hence, even a little change in data during the supply chain will result in a drastic change in the entire hash, and everyone in a chain will get notified immediately. Thus, the exact scammer or intruder will be caught red-handed.
Symbol from NEM and the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
We are at the cusp of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which fuses Digital, Physical and Biological systems at a single platform. Compared with previous IT revolutions, the Fourth revolution is growing exponentially and affecting every industry with its emerging pace. It is no longer, and IT would take charge of our entire systems in a quietly efficient and significant way. Sooner or Later, It will transform the structure of our production, management, and administration with its agile features.
Technology is moving us towards automation. Due to many physical disruptions and adulteration of data in the supply chain, the world is seeking a trusted way of doing business. Symbol from NEM has stepped in with its innovative state-of-the-art techniques to build manifold transformations in blockchain technology and soothes every user with its essential services. Symbol works in AI (Artificial intelligence) to interact with every node in a blockchain. It makes a decision quickly and responds in milliseconds. Thus, there would be no chance of scamming between the supply chain food industries anymore.
In the long run, every industry would be shifted from conventional blockchain to Symbol blockchain and will witness a breakthrough in its production, supply chain, and customer support with its overwhelming features.