More sustainability through transparency in the supply chain. An example from the dairy industry shows how it can succeed
Do we know where our food comes from? In our globalized world, we often have little or no knowledge about where food actually comes from and under what conditions it is produced. But it is now becoming increasingly important to customers that companies in the food industry prove that their products are produced as sustainably and fairly as possible. This requires transparency in the supply chain.
Because more and more consumers feel a responsibility for the environment and the people who produce food. They want to know where the food they regularly buy comes from. Because the food sector in particular has a concrete impact on the planet and its resources. Only through more transparency in the supply chain can customers make informed choices and reach for more sustainable alternatives. With more transparency in the supply chain, companies and consumers can therefore work together to ensure more ethical and sustainable products in the supermarkets or on the dinner plates, and thus make an important contribution to protecting our environment.
How supply chains can become more transparent
To achieve greater transparency, companies in the food industry should conduct regular audits and document all stages of the goods from harvesting and production to delivery. Today, new technologies such as blockchain can also be used for this purpose. After all, this traceability can ensure that all parties involved act in the most sustainable and ethical way possible.
The engagement of all parties in the supply chain should be considered an integral part of the overall progress. Companies should inform the public about their labor and resource targets and provide insight to create more awareness about the importance of supply chain transparency. This simultaneously builds trust and credibility, and appeals precisely to consumers who care about sustainably produced food. But that’s not all: companies that make their supply chain transparent can also gain the trust and credibility of their employees and other stakeholders. In short, credibility and trust are playing an increasingly important role for many companies in the food industry.
An example from the dairy industry: blockchain in dairies
In a research project with the University of Zurich and the think tank Dezentrum, we at Foodways investigated how blockchain technology can be used to increase transparency in the dairy industry. After all, digital traceability can support consumer credibility towards strong brands and also provides more trust between the different links in the food supply chain.
Using a prototype technology, processes within the supply chain were screened together with the practical partner Molkerei Fuchs AG. This included the use of smart contracts and a QR code hierarchy for secure and immutable process mapping in a blockchain (Ethereum).
The results were then analyzed and reflected upon with experts to assess their future utility for other food stakeholders and practicality. Through the design, funding and implementation of the case study, as well as the networking of different stakeholders, new synergies and progress towards a transparent supply chain emerged. One finding from this research project is that this type of transparency enables more efficient business processes and at the same time makes a decisive contribution to greater sustainability in the food industry, something that consumers already place great value on today.
What is the positive global impact of reducing food waste?
By Foodways Food waste has a huge impact on the environment, global food security and the economy. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), approximately 1.3 billion tons of edible food is discarded each year on its way from field to plate. This unnecessary waste of resources has a direct […]28.09.2023
Food Policies: How the cantons of Lucerne and Zurich ensure sustainable nutrition
By Foodways Food plays a crucial role in the environment and climate. What we eat, how we produce it and how much we waste has a significant impact on our planet. That’s why it’s important to advocate for a sustainable diet that is both healthy and environmentally friendly. But how can we achieve this? And […]12.09.2023
Nudging: What is it, what nudges are there, and how can the restaurant industry use them to help customers act more sustainably?
By Foodways The catering industry has a major influence on people’s consumption behavior. It can influence the eating decisions of its clientele through its offering, presentation and communication. This gentle influence is called nudging. It can bring both environmental and economic benefits. After all, sustainable nutrition not only means less environmental impact, but also more […]01.08.2023
Environmental impact of nutrition: This is why an adapted menu has a direct impact on the climate
By Foodways The environmental impact of nutrition has increasingly come into focus in recent years. After all, the impact of our eating habits on the environment and climate is considerable. What concrete figures are available on the connection between food choices and environmental impact? And how can companies help consumers eat in a more environmentally […]04.07.2023
For more sustainability and lower costs: What measures can be taken to reduce food waste in the catering industry?
By Foodways A lot of food is still wasted in the restaurant industry. According to WWF Switzerland, restaurants are directly responsible for 12 percent of total food waste. Processing accounts for 30 percent and agriculture for 11 percent – areas that the catering industry can also influence through targeted purchasing and other measures. Appropriate measures […]13.06.2023
Sustainability is network work
By Foodways A unifying element of our projects is that mostly a network of people and organizations want, should or – sometimes – have to work together. We once tried to peel out repeatedly encountered hurdles from this network-based work: Sustainability succeeds best when all stakeholders work closely together, as this can create unimagined forces. […]17.05.2023
“Cities and private restaurateurs can collaborate and learn from each other”
By Yvonne Lötscher and Daniel Stöcklin Cities are home to the majority of all people, which is why they are of strategic importance for sustainable development. How can a city cultivate and promote sustainable nutrition? Yvonne Lötscher, Head of Sustainable Nutrition at the City of Zurich, is actively addressing this question. Zurich is striving towards […]01.11.2021
Gastronomy Future – An Inside Perspective on Sustainable Transformation
By Daniel Stöcklin Running a catering business economically is a challenge. For many, converting a business into a sustainable one is a seemingly insurmountable task. The Gastronomy Future Basel project initiated by Foodways connects restaurateurs to an ecosystem of sustainability experts. The goal is to lay the foundation for a transformation process and equip restaurateurs […]14.10.2021