As climate change riots storm our streets, agricultural disruption has become a pressing topic. Devastating industrial agricultural practices are responsible for unprecedented pollution in our skies, soils, and waterways. Harnessing blockchain technology, innovative start-ups are redesigning the agricultural landscape. Projects are mostly focused toward enhancing global traceability, easing international transactions, providing crop insurance, and optimizing the food chain.
If you’re looking for the who’s who of blockchain agritech, here’s our rundown on who is making waves in 2019.
AgriChain is a decentralized blockchain platform that enables seamless management and communication between supply chain participants. Leveraging blockchain, the software provides a secure, transparent platform for agricultural stakeholders to transact internationally. This reduces supply chain costs and bottlenecks. The farming and logistics management software also aims to link growers, distributors, and retailers, for smoother inventory movement.
Specifically targeting the agave industry, AgaveCoin provides a secure transaction method with their native token AGVC. The B2B business is aimed at providing a global payment solution to ease the trade of agricultural products and services in the agave production chain. The diverse uses of agave provide versatile utility of AGVC, which can be used for agave-based textiles, liquors, biofuels, biosystems, organic food, nanoplastics, and so on.
Branding themselves as ‘farm-to-table food transparency on blockchain’, TE-FOOD is one of the most successful blockchain agritech projects to date. With over 6000 businesses using the platform, TE-FOOD helps organizations with food identification, data capture, data storage, data processing, and data presentation. This helps to tag and monitor the journey of food products from start to finish. TE-FOOD has entered a number of significant partnerships recently, includingFood Trace, Ho Chi Minh City University, and Jura.
Ripe is another supply chain logistics project concerned with the traceability of food products. Dubbing themselves the ‘blockchain of food’, Ripe aims to capture and store information regarding the quality, origin, and journey of food. Having recently secured $2.5 millionin funding, Ripe has also entered a new partnership with R3 to help build the food and agricultural supply chain for Microsoft Azure.
A B2B marketplace for agricultural and food products, Agrolot is using blockchain to ensure fast, secure transactions. For the agricultural vendor, this provides a traceable audit trail to help with financial transparency and an international payment method. Linking customers directly with the products they need, Agrolot cuts out intermediaries in international agricultural payment processes for a sleeker, more secure interaction with business clients.
A relatively small project, Verified Organic is an Ethereum-based blockchain application to enhance transparency in the organic food supply chain. The decentralized platform can track and trace organic produce from soil to table, verifying the steps in production and distribution as they occur. All data is recorded and verified on the blockchain, showing the date, time, and geolocation that each action was carried out. This is to help prevent fraudulent non-organic produce being passed off as organic and pesticide-free — enabling food transparency.
IBM Food Trust
IBM Food Trust is perhaps the largest blockchain agritech project. IBM have crafted a network that allows global participants of the global food supply chain to access a suite of blockchain tools. These tools are designed to increase transparency, improve standardization, enhance efficiency, reduce waste, and recapture profits in the worldwide food supply chain. Big companies are flocking to the technology, with Walmart, Nestle, and Albertsons Companies already on the books.
While not limited to the food production industry, Bext360 is another popular supply chain traceability solution. Particularly concerned with sustainability, the company targets critical supply chains in mostly developing countries, such as coffee, cotton, seafood, timber, and palm oil. Bext360 has created a Coinstar-like device that uses machine vision to recognize and label items produced, while the data is then stored on the blockchain. Thanks to their most recent funding round, Bext360 now has a $3.4 million= injection of funds.
AgriDigital is a cloud-based blockchain software used for commodity management of grain. The software handles all transactions and logistics, making buying, selling, and trading grain far easier — while ensuring transparency and traceability. The software stores all data, manages inventory, and provides easy channels of communications with customers. For buyers, the software provides a dashboard to manage deliveries of grain orders and track the history of the products. Thanks to a funding round led by Square Peg Capital in 2018, AgriDigital has $5.5 million in investment behind them.
Demeter is striving to revolutionize agriculture through the rental of global microfields. Positioning itself as a central hub for microfarm lettings, Demeter connects those who want to farm organically with those who have arable land. The closed-loop system puts farmers in touch with places they can farm, and potential food customers in touch with farms selling produce. This cuts out corporate market-makers to reduce overheads for both parties, resulting in access to affordable organic food.
Sporting $2.5 million in funding from Medicini Ventures, GrainChain are provides a blockchain software platform to enable more fluid transactions for grain. The platform connects suppliers and farmers reducing inventory management friction. With nearly 1500 clients using their system worldwide, the GrainChain network is growing, enabling a transparent ledger of grain movement globally. GrainChain has recently launched in Mexico, partnering with the Tamaulipas government. This deal is easing the trade of soybeans, sorghum, and corn so far..
AgriLedger is a social enterprise based in the UK that supports farmers through a suite of food traceability tools. These help agricultural entities to create digital identities, trace inventory, store transaction data, access financing and much more. AgriLedger has been working on a World Bank-backed blockchain endeavor in Haitiduring the past year. This venture seeks to bring market access to Haitian farmers to sell and distribute organic produce worldwide.
Finding solutions for decentralized insurance, Etherisc is offering crop insurance to farmers on a global scale. The automated insurance technology means that farmers are paid out instantly when certain weather is registered on high-spec monitoring equipment. High wind speeds, natural disasters, flood, and drought will automatically trigger payment to the insured party.
Also protecting farmers from weather-related disasters, Worldcover offers crop insurance that uses satellites to measure rainfall. High rainfall automatically trigger payouts to affected farmers. With $6 million funding in the bank, Worldcover are backed by Y-Combinator, A Catalyst Fund Company, and The Wall Street Journal.
The first blockchain company to be USDA Organic-certified, BeefChain is serving up a supply chain solution for beef and cattle. Attempting to recapture the value lost to middlemen, BeefChain is creating a ‘rancher-centric’ traceability software to ensure the transparent journey of organic beef. The company partner with ranches all over the world to combine IoT and blockchain for auditable provenance for pasture-raised, grass-fed, and (now) organic beef.
A global decentralized marketplace for rare herbs, Herbalist connects buyers and sellers from all ovr the world to ease the trade of exotic herbs and spices. By cutting out intermediaries in the buy/sell process, growers receive higher profits. Herbalist has partnered with some big names, including UPS, One Tree Planted and dpd. Despite this, the company is a little behind on their timeline and the marketplace is yet to be launched.