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Emerging Solutions for the Improvement of Food Traceability in the EU: Examining the Use of Blockchain Technology for Tracing Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Theology, Department of Theology.
2019 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The issue of food traceability is one that affects a great number of sectors and policy areas. Within the EU, there is increasing demand from consumers, businesses and institutions to have more direct access to information about how food is produced, transformed, and distributed. Currently, however, practices in the industry are very much open to human error. Databases are highly vulnerable to inaccuracies and hacking, as well as deliberate faults caused by corruption or fraudulent conduct. With food traceability being so closely related to trade and public health issues, there is arguably increasing incentive for the EU to seek alternative tools to increase transparency and accountability throughout supply chains. Consequently, this paper will examine a possible alternative to current practices by evaluating the applicability of 'blockchain' technology, namely a system of digitised, decentralised ledgers, which could allow key stakeholders to access information about the provenance of food immediately, comprehensively and securely. The analysis will focus specifically on Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO), one of the most adulterated products in the food industry, identifying gaps and opportunities in current traceability systems. The research question tackled in this paper, therefore, may be formulated as follows: how and to what extent could blockchain technology constitute a sustainable solution for improving the traceability of EVOO within the EU? The paper begins with a brief overview of the issue and an explanation of the research methodology used, followed by an elaboration of key terms and concepts and a detailed explanation of the principles underlying blockchain technology. Subsequently, the key challenges and opportunities associated with blockchain-based traceability systems are examined through a case study, followed by an analysis aimed at assessing the sustainability of blockchain solutions for the EVOO sector. The conclusion, lastly, provides an overview of relevant findings and proposes a final assessment.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019.
Keywords [en]
Food traceability, Blockchain, Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO), Supply chain management, Sustainable development, Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT).
National Category
Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-392161OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-392161DiVA, id: diva2:1347063
Subject / course
Euroculture
Educational program
Master Programme in Euroculture
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2019-09-18 Created: 2019-08-29 Last updated: 2019-09-18Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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  • de-DE
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  • Other locale
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Output format
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