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Pole and line tuna and baitfish fishery project, Indonesia. Bitung, Sulawesi, Indonesia. © Paul Hilton / IPNLF / WWF-Aus

Pole and line tuna and baitfish fishery project, Indonesia © Paul Hilton / IPNLF / WWF-Aus

WWF-Australia and OpenSC

Introducing OpenSC, a new blockchain-enabled food tracking platform developed in partnership between WWF-Australia and BCG Digital Ventures.

OpenSC uses cutting edge technology to track individual products from origin to consumer. The aim is to help businesses and consumers avoid illegal, environmentally damaging or unethical products, while improving supply chain accountability and transparency.
 

How OpenSC works

OpenSC enables businesses to track their products - anything from food to tissue paper - by adding a unique blockchain code at the product’s point of origin, such as the moment a fish is caught at sea.

The blockchain is a digital ledger that cannot be tampered with. It records the movement of a product along the supply chain and can store a range of information, such as when, where and how the product was produced, plus any social and environmental certifications or other data.

Consumers can also use OpenSC to learn more about the products they purchase. A simple example of the product in action is wild-caught Patagonian toothfish. By simply scanning a product QR code with their smartphone camera, OpenSC will show where the fish in front of them was caught, how it journeyed along the supply chain, and importantly - that it comes from a certified sustainable fishery and was not caught inside an established marine protected area.

 

OpenSC infographic © WWF-Australia

 

More Sustainable supply chains

Growing numbers of consumers prefer to buy products that are sustainable and ethical. Increasingly, consumer purchasing decisions reflect their social and environmental concerns, as well as price and quality.

When it comes to the fishing industry, OpenSC is already able to verify whether fishing occurs in legal waters. For example, working with Austral Fisheries, OpenSC has traced their ‘Glacier 51’ Patagonian toothfish from the point of catch in Antarctic waters through to final customers in Asia, Europe and the Americas, using a combination of vessel monitoring data, machine learning software, the Internet of Things (IoT) and blockchain technology.

 

On top of the existing MSC sustainability certification of this fishery, OpenSC provides additional reassurance to consumers that their fish has not been caught illegally, in an established marine protected area or by an unregistered vessel.


Good for business

OpenSC is driven by the conviction that what is good for the planet and humanity, should be good for business. Improved supply chain traceability and transparency technology unlocks a wealth of benefits for businesses committed to more sustainable and ethical approaches.

By using OpenSC, consumers can also be confident about what they are eating, where it came from, and how it got to them. Businesses can share the journey of their products with their customers through engaging digital experiences in restaurants, supermarkets and online.

 

As a transparency platform, OpenSC will enable more responsible and ethical consumption, so that businesses and consumers alike can verify, trace and share data on the sustainability of their products.

Saving the planet with blockchain © Jared Cherup Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

© Jared Cherup Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

What is Blockchain?

Blockchain technology is a digital, tamper-proof record of information that is accessible to everyone. Although initially adopted by the financial industry, blockchain can also be used to track products as they move through the supply chain.

Information held on a blockchain exists as a shared — and continually reconciled — database. This means the blockchain cannot be controlled by any single entity. Information is stored in blocks that are identical across its network. Each transaction that’s entered essentially becomes locked in, so no other party can edit or alter someone else’s entry without everyone knowing it. This means information on a product going through multiple parties can be tracked and ensures transparency and accountability. Each time a product changes in composition or ownership, a new block of information is added on top of the previous information, thus making a chain.

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