Blockchain Technology in the Citrus Traceability System

Blockchain Technology in the Citrus Traceability System

The National Service of Agri-Food Health and Quality (Senasa) has introduced a new version of the Citrus Traceability Computer System (SITC) into production. This system manages the supervisory data for the export of fresh citrus fruit from Argentina to the European Union, United States, China, Mexico, South Korea, and other markets with similar quarantine restrictions.

This new version of the system includes the utilization of blockchain technology to provide greater security to the generated documents, ensuring that they have not been modified at any stage of the certification process.

"Through the incorporation of this technology, we aim to make commercial operations easier, more efficient, and safer for all actors in the supply chain. All parties have the same information at all times without the need to duplicate documents," explained Martín Delucis, the Director of Plant Trade at Senasa.

Furthermore, Delucis stated that "Senasa is currently working on incorporating other documents into blockchain to add more transparency and security to the certification process."

The development follows the technical guidelines of Blockchain Federal Argentina (BFA), which represents a significant technological leap for this type of use and adds value to the traced product.

Additional information on blockchain technology:

The English word means "chain of blocks" and is essentially a digital platform that collects and verifies transactions among its users. All transactions (or blocks) are recorded in a ledger style visible to all participants in the chain. They themselves validate the information.

In this way, the origin of the product, its quality, and other aspects can be backed up. Transactions occur in real-time. Each record is unique, encrypted, and cannot be deleted. It can only be updated by the consensus of the majority of participants in the system.

It is estimated that each year around 600 million people worldwide (almost 1 in 10 people) fall ill from consuming contaminated food, leading to 420,000 deaths from this cause, resulting in the loss of 33 million years of life adjusted for disability, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

As a result of this, blockchain could offer openness and transparency of data from food production to the consumer; it could also detect contaminated products in a matter of seconds. Through a QR code that can be scanned from a mobile phone, one can access the entire production, processing, and commercialization process of the product in question.

Frauds and secrets would be reduced, which would improve the framework of trust and transparency. This can open up business opportunities where the counterparty risk was once a barrier.

However, for blockchain to function effectively, it requires the commitment of all participants to provide accurate information in the system, from the field to each link in the supply chain.