Accelerate; Piloting your Business to Success

Don’t miss out on our first ACCELERATE events of the year – The ‘must attend’ event for all food industry professionals! 


Take a tour of Concorde or step into the world of Motorcycle manufacturing by joining one of our first Accelerate events of the year, we’re very pleased to be joining forces with the FMCG Academy and LI Europe to discuss the challenges faced in the food industry and how you can become a more efficient manufacturer.

 

Concerned by the lack of sustained improvement in your factory?

Fed up with missed production targets?

If you can answer yes to these questions and you want to discover how to achieve better results, then come along on the day and take part in our Free 1 hour workshop; Prioritising Line Improvement – and making it stick with Erica Bassford, Head of Aspire at LI Europe

Learn how to increase your productivity and avoid distractions as Jeremy Praud- Chairman, FMCG Academy presents The Keys to unlocking FMCG Productivity. 

In business,a million things need to happen in order for it to take off, this is especially true in the fast paced, highly regulated food industry. Deepen your understanding of the capabilities needed to build a truly agile organisation as we discuss Food; the problem, the solution.  

We hope you feel that joining us is worth your time. The event is about real-life and real processes that the food industry should be considering to ensure you are achieving your maximum productivity. 
 

HURRY PLACES ARE LIMITED…
To secure your place, please follow one of the links below to book: 

Runway Visitor Park – Manchester, 20th March

National Motorcycle Museum – Birmingham, 27th March

THE INTERACTIVE WORKSHOPS ARE COMPLETELY FREE TO ATTEND:

When it comes to implementing Manufacturing Improvement programmes, it is vital that managers are equipped with the skills to successfully manage and motivate their teams to drive and sustain improvement activity. In this practical workshop, complete with hands on ‘learning by doing’, we will be showing delegates how to engage shop floor personnel to apply new improvement techniques in the workplace.

If none of the above venues are convenient to you, please pre-register your interest here.

Alternatively, if you’d like to find out more about the event and whether it’s right for you and your team, please do give us a call on 01244 676 900

Signum Solutions and FDMB partner to bring software expertise to North West Food and Drink businesses

Signum Solutions and FDMB partner for Success

Warrington based Signum Solutions is excited to announce we have become a FDMB partner. Food and Drink Means Business (FDMB)  is a publishing group that aims to drive the progress and development of the food and beverages sector in the North West.

Signum Solutions, headquartered in Warrington, and Blackpool based FDMB are partnering to help small and mid-size food and drink companies who have experienced rapid growth or reached a ‘tipping point’ on the need for automated business processes.

Food and beverage is one of the fastest growing sectors in the region, and this partnership provides a platform for firms to cooperate and resolve some of the key local challenges faced by the food and beverages industry.

In an ever increasingly regulated industry, the need to demonstrate end-to-end traceability or the avoidance of the ‘dreaded’ product recall are often a minefield for SME’s.  

The marriage between FDMB and Signum Solutions is intended to play to the respective market strengths of both providers.

Paul Caunce, Founder and Publishing Editor of North West FDMB said; “We are thrilled to have Signum Solutions on board with us as Software Partners. Their commitment to the food and drinks industry is beyond question, as is their passion to work with companies of all shapes and sizes in the sector. 

“It is important to us that our partners have a strong offering to meet the needs of our food and beverage readers and members, and we are excited about working with the Signum Solutions team to promote the many benefits of their SAP Business One software.”

Signum is an award-winning, industry focused SAP Gold Partner offering SAP Business One management software for enterprise resource planning.

The company was the first in the UK to receive ‘recognised expertise’ status in SAP Business One and is also the proud holders of the SAP Business One, Best performance for Customer Satisfaction award 2017.   

Under the new partnership agreement, Signum will combine its industry knowledge and SAP specialism and work with FDMB to provide a pain free approach to business software.

Solutions Managing Director Lindsay Pointon said: “We are excited to partner with FDMB. As their strategic software partner, we’re using our industry knowledge and expertise to educate on and promote the need for business management software in a lively region whose vibrant food and drink manufacturing scene is only going to grow in the future”

About Food and Drink Means Business:

North West Food & Drink Means Business (FDMB) is a trade only platform that is published online and in print by Means Business Publishing Ltd.

Launched in early 2018, the vision of the publishers was to bring the food and drink supply chain closer together, primarily through news and information,

As part of the progressive thinking behind the original concept, 2019 will see the roll out of a number of events throughout the North West, including round table discussions, producer networking events and the FDMB Live event on March 26th, visit https://northwest.fdmb.co.uk/

About Signum Solutions:

Signum Solutions specialises exclusively in SAP Business One for small and midsized businesses. The company is a fully certified SAP Business One Partner and has clients in a range of sectors including food supply and service, chemicals and coatings, wholesale and manufacturing. For more information, visit www.signum-solutions.co.uk.

Media enquiries on this news release to:

Diane Harvey at Signum Solutions on 01244 676900 or [email protected]

or

Paul Caunce at FDMB on 07501 216651 or email [email protected]

An Interview with Graham Collins, Operations Manager at Infusion GB

box of tea on production line

Infusion GB is one of the UK’s leading tea and herbal drink packaging companies. It is a privately-owned business and has been operating since 1985. Current capacity across its many formats is in excess of 1 billion bags a year!

In this interview with Infusion’s Operations manager, Graham Collins, find out what steps the business has taken to achieve impressive sustainable growth in the last year:

Q: What does Infusion’s customer base look like?

A: We supply to an extremely diverse customer base ranging from small start-up companies to independent retailers. We also pack for national and multi-national supermarket chains.

Q: What makes Infusion GB different to similar companies?

A: We believe our flexibility to meet demand and the ability to cope with our entire customer base, from small volumes to larger runs, sets us apart. Our priority is meeting the customer’s needs and ensuring their success.

Q: How has implementing a new ERP system been of benefit to Infusion?

A: SAP Business One has given us the ability to manage our warehouse more effectively and provided us greater control and visibility over our stock allowing us to monitor usage of materials more efficiently.

Q: What were your considerations in choosing a new ERP system?

A: We were looking for a solution that could, not only, be implemented quickly but one that would have the flexibility to be able to grow with us and support our expansion plans. As a minimum, it had to be have fully integrated warehouse management and manufacturing capabilities.

Q: How did you decide on the right ERP partner?

A: We were looking for a partner that had experience supporting process manufacturers in the food industry, one that was focussed on the UK and had many years’ proven experience of the product. In Signum Solutions, we found that partner and soon discovered we were more than ‘just a customer’.

Q: What’s next in the plan for Infusion GB?

A: We are looking to further develop our use of SAP Business One to potentially include factory automation and as a responsible business, we are always looking for ways to reduce our environmental impact.

Q: How would you describe your relationship with Signum?

A: Good, Signum quickly understood our needs and what we were trying to achieve. They are always on hand when assistance is needed – even out of hours!

View customer case studies to find out more about how Signum Solutions’ experience within the food manufacturing, foodservice and food wholesale industries has helped similar businesses achieve streamlined processes and financial benefits, with Signum’s Industry Edition for Food and Beverage.

What is Making Tax Digital?

Making Tax Digital Logo

In the spring of 2017, the UK government passed legislation that provides that the UK will become one of the most advanced digital economies in the world. Making Tax Digital (MTD) is an HMRC initiative designed to make sure the UK tax system is effective, efficient and easier for taxpayers.

There are several key dates that all businesses need to be aware of:

April 2019: All VAT-registered companies over the VAT threshold will have to use and maintain digital accounting records and are required to submit their VAT returns using MTD-compatible digital software.

April 2020: All VAT-registered businesses under the VAT threshold will be required to comply with MTD requirements.

From April 2020 (earliest): Income tax and Corporation tax returns for all businesses will be provided to HMRC through digital means.

MTD FUNCTIONALITY IN SAP BUSINESS ONE

SAP Business One version 9.3, Patch Level 08 will be MTD-compatible. It is anticipated that Patch Level 08 will be available from December 2018, although SAP have not given any specific dates yet. To receive this Patch, you must be using version 9.3 of SAP Business One. For those running an older version of SAP Business One (i.e. 9.1, 9.2) an upgrade to version 9.3 will be required.

The Patch Level will allow the following:

• SAP Business One will automatically link to HMRC using your current gateway password
• The user can view requests from HMRC, as well as scheduled reminders for their VAT declarations
• The user will be able to make manual requests
• They can submit declarations and check if there are issues with previous submissions
• They can view information concerning the VAT process
• They can check if previous payments have been processed by HMRC

MTD ROADMAP FOR SAP BUSINESS ONE

In June this year, SAP began testing its final MTD compliant version of SAP Business One software with HMRC. They have also launched a review programme which will obtain the feedback from a selection of Business One Beta test sites. The beta test programme will help SAP obtain feedback about the system so that it can make any final refinements ahead of the full launch of Patch Level 08 in December 2018.

BECOMING MTD COMPLIANT

During the early months of 2019, Signum will be running a series of workshops designed to ensure that you understand the requirements of MTD and can use SAP to produce and provide HMRC with the information they require. We will be releasing further closer to the time.

In the meantime, if you would like to register your interest, or you have specific questions regarding MTD, please contact us on 01244 676900.

Teaming up with Transalis to tackle data management ‘tipping point’

Signum & Transalis are joining forces on a ‘must-have’ data automation solution for business clients outgrowing manual systems or standalone software.

Portsmouth-based Transalis and Signum Solutions, headquartered in Warrington, are partnering to help small and mid-size supply chain companies in sectors such as manufacturing, chemicals, food service and wholesale distribution.

Typical clients will have crossed a ‘tipping point’ on the need for automated business data processing.

They may be an organic food retailer seeking to demonstrate end-to-end traceability of global supply so that increasingly savvy customers are reassured over safety and integrity.

They could be a manufacturer keen to avoid the nightmare of a product recall or a company in a regulated industry tasked with a ‘needle in a haystack’ Big Data search request.

A fast-moving consumer brand or a busy wholesaler may also require more automation to ensure the real-time cash position and sales figures are at their fingertips.

The tie-up between Transalis and Signum Solutions is intended to play to the respective market strengths of both providers.

Signum is an award-winning SAP Gold Partner offering SAP Business One management software for enterprise resource planning.

The company was the first in the UK to receive ‘recognised expertise’ status in SAP Business One.

Under the new reseller agreement, Signum will combine its SAP specialism with the added benefit of the cloud-based Transalis platform for automated supply chain management.

Signum Solutions Managing Director Lindsay Pointon said: “This is an ideal combination that will give our clients a proven, fully integrated and hosted solution.

“Automated data management is a must-have for growing companies for all kinds of activities including stock control, supply and distribution management, and production scheduling.”

Roy Garlick, Transalis Global Channel Manager, said: “More and more customers are migrating up to SAP Business One having arrived at a tipping point in their data management needs.

“At the same time, many are keen to review and improve their supply chain management capabilities.

“We’re confident our new partnership with Signum Solutions will directly address this scenario.

“It will help many small and mid-size businesses to streamline their business management activities so they can scale up to compete on a more level playing field with larger competitors.”

In an international award based on customer feedback, Signum Solutions was named the SAP Business One partner with ‘Best Performance for Customer Satisfaction’ at a recent SAP partner summit in Barcelona.

The company also won a CompuTec Partner Excellence Award in 2017 recognising exceptional customer satisfaction.

The Transalis platform helps users share data, integrate it with internal systems and automate a host of manual processes.

Transalis was the first UK partner to achieve a procurement-to-payment accreditation for EDI (electronic data interchange) from global standards body GS1.

About Transalis

Transalis helps clients drive business growth by connecting supply chains digitally. The UK-based company’s global platform enables businesses to trade with anyone, anywhere using cloud-managed services. Transalis services a community of more than 10,000 users in sectors such as retail, manufacturing, distribution, logistics, health and beauty, and FMCG. Clients include leading brands such as Argos, Pret a Manger, The Hut Group and AS Watson, owners of Superdrug. For more information, visit www.transalis.com.

Signum Solutions specialises exclusively in SAP Business One for small and midsized businesses. The company is a fully certified SAP Business One Partner and has clients in a range of sectors including food supply and service, chemicals and coatings, wholesale and manufacturing.

Media enquiries on this news release to:

Diane Harvey at Signum Solutions on 01244 676900 or [email protected]

ERP for SME – Software for SME’s

ERP for SME is becoming more important. Choosing the right software for your business can be a daunting decision for you as a business owner, choosing a software that is easily customisable and tailormade to meet your exact business requirements is key.

So what is ERP software ?

Enterprise Resource Planning software otherwise known as ERP software is a software which collaborates all aspects of a business into one place.  The information which the ERP software collates is made easily available for you to see.

Using ERP software will connect different departments within a business in real-time which in turn increases efficiency within different departments and helps to make key decisions within the business.

ERP software is ideal for small to medium sized enterprises here are a few of the benefits below:

 

Customisable – ERP software is can be fully tailored to suit your business, and can be used for the following:

Pre sales CRM / Marketing

Post sales CRM

Inventory (SCM)

Financial accounting

Production, planning & Control

Project management

Technical expertise

Task management

Human resources & Payroll

Continuous Improvement

Growth Your ERP software will grow as your business does, it is easy to add new functions into your software which will save you and your staff time making everyday operations more streamlined and in turn this will increase your ongoing profits.

To understand how your business can benefit from implementing an ERP for SME solution, contact us here 

ERP Software For Food

ERP Software Designed For Food & Beverage

Fruit juice in glasses with Kiwi fruit

SAP Business One by Signum Solutions, Our food recipe solution is designed to meet the requirements of any business however SME’s in particular find our cloud based software very useful streamlining their business therefore increasing profits.

ERP is designed for manufacturers and distributors in particular, our solution will improve food safety, improve traceability, reduce waste and overall streamline productivity whilst managing business growth.

Signum Solutions solution for food will connect all departments within your business into an easy to manage cloud ERP. From the minute that ingredients & materials enter your business premises to the moment the complete products leave them.

Our software will move all of your data and workflows from multiple, independent platforms into a single cloud ERP, you ensure superior data integrity, production management and manufacturing processes, quality control, safety, sales, delivery, finance and forecasting.

ERP software for Food – Reliable access 24 hours a day all year round

Get access to all aspects of your business 24 hours a day, all year round with Signum Solutions solution for food.

For more information on our ERP software for food contact one of the team today on 01244 676 900 or get in touch here 

 

 

 

SAP Business One Advice

Sap Business One Advice

SAP Business One and 3 ways to improve efficiency and help you make better decisions for your company.

 

So, what is SAP Business One?

SAP Business One is a software designed specifically with SMEs in mind.
SAP Business One combines an array of your business’ functions including its sales, customer relations, inventory, operations and financials and all from a single application meaning that you can take an overview of all aspects of your business at a glance. Continue…

Country of Origin – Why provenance matters

Country of Origin - Why provenance matters

As consumers are becoming increasingly choosy about the provenance of various foodstuffs, country of origin labeling can have a considerable influence on their perceptions and purchasing decisions. For the growing number of shoppers who believe it’s important to know where our food comes from to make an informed choice, where for ethnocentric or ethical reasons, country of origin is among extrinsic “quality cues” they use to evaluate a product.

Continue…

How to nip the growing problem of organic food fraud in the bud

Business management software for food

Food fraud is a growing problem. When consumers pay a premium for certified organic produce and packaged foods, they should feel confident that they’re getting what they pay for: a product free from synthetic fertilisers, pesticides, antibiotics, growth regulators and genetically-modified organisms. There is also an underlying ethical assumption that those revenues are going to farmers engaged in sustainable agricultural practices that promote ecological balance and conserve biodiversity.

Products sold as organic must, by law, follow certain standards – both European and national – and have to be regularly inspected and certified by approved bodies. At a global level, many countries have regulatory requirements similar to those in the EU and there are formal agreements covering trade in organic products between these countries

However, because organic and eco-labelled food products command a higher price, instances of food fraud, such as adulteration and mislabelling, are becoming more commonplace, resulting in consumers being misled and overcharged. What’s more, failure to enforce standards can cast a shadow over the term ‘organic’ itself, which should be synonymous with authenticity.

Staying competitive and relevant
The problem is amplified with imported products that involve intermediaries, some of whom are looking to make economic gains by deliberately mislabelling foods as organic and selling them at a premium. One example is the 2016/2017 shipment of over 16 metric tonnes of soybeans that found their way to California from Ukraine via Turkey.

What started out as conventionally-farmed, pesticide-treated soybeans under-went a remarkable transformation to ‘organic’, which saw the consignment’s value increase by US$4 million. This wasn’t a one off: two further shipments of corn and soybeans revealed similar findings. And because these imports were largely destined for animal feed, they would be likely to infiltrate the supply chain through a variety of foods including ‘organic’ eggs, dairy, meat and poultry.

Meanwhile, brands are finding themselves at risk. While consumers increasingly scrutinise labels for farm-to-fork provenance, not all retailers can verify organic products back to the point of origin due to a lack of upstream supply chain visibility.
While tier 1 and some of tier 2 suppliers may be known, the view of tier 3 and beyond is often obscured. Tackling the root of the problem

In April 2017, imports of organic products into the EU became subject to a new EU electronic certification system, to reduce potential fraud and provide more comprehensive statistical data on organic imports. As well as the goal of reducing organic food fraud, the addition of import certificates to the existing Trade Control & Expert System facilitates trade by enabling partners and competent authorities to easily obtain information on the movement of their consignments.

Forward-thinking companies, however, look beyond the ‘stick’ of regulation to the ‘carrot’ of consumer trust, and are actively seeking ways to reduce their susceptibility to organic food fraud and protect their brand. They need to account for every part of the production process, which means farming practices, distribution paths, storage procedures and product delivery must all be made visible to business managers.

External traceability is vital to validating the presence of attributes such as organic certification for the entire agro-food sector, which includes animal feeds. This requires all parties in the supply chain to systematically link the physical flow of materials and products with the flow of information about them.

However, many traceability systems today were only designed for internal purposes, providing an one-up, one-down view for the company using that system. Many companies, particularly those that do business with large retailers that impose strict standards, will quickly find themselves outgrowing manual methods or standalone software for batch/lot tracking. At this tipping point, an ERP solution that supports strong batch/lot traceability features becomes a must-have.

A fresh focus on traceability
With traceability-focused software, the product’s batch/lot number follows it from seed to table. By capturing the organic certification data as part of lot tracking, organic status can be tracked through the supply chain. For example, a bottle of certified organic wine should be traceable back to the exact vineyard from which its grapes were harvested.

An organic apple should be able to be traced back to the farm where it was grown, and it should even be possible to pinpoint the exact orchard from which it was picked.

This traceable chain of custody is what empowers consumers to trust certified organic brands. Shoppers are becoming increasingly savvy about what they eat and how it’s raised; wherever there is opportunity for differentiation by helping the consumer understand where their food is coming from, it should bear fruit in the form of customer loyalty based on confidence, not blind faith.

To find out more about how Signum Solutions and SAP Business One can help you achieve end-to-end trace ability to maintain the safety and integrity of your products, speak to one of our industry experts on 01244 676 900

Signum wins big at customer satisfaction at the annual SAP SMB Summit

Signum Solutions are proud to announce today that it has been named the SAP Business One partner with “Best Performance for Customer Satisfaction 2017” at the SAP SMB Summit in Barcelona.

This is the first year this award has been presented and with the winner determine by customer feedback, Signum have set the standard for customer focus and satisfaction for SAP Business One.

Signum Solutions Managing Director, Lindsay Pointon was in Barcelona to receive the award and stated, “It’s a real honour to receive this award. It was our customers who voted so it’s a huge thank you to each and every one of them for believing in us and awarding us this amazing accolade. I would also like to thank all of the Signum team, this award is a testament to their skill, vision and their dedication to our customers and the SAP Business One community”

 

sap business one support

 

It has been a fantastic twelve months for Signum having been also presented the coveted CompuTec Partner Excellence Award 2017  given in recognition of the long standing partnership, excellence in quality of implementations and exceptional customer satisfaction.

For more information on the award or to discuss any aspect of SAP Business One, please contact one of our industry experts on 01244 676 900

How Blockchain is set to transform food safety and integrity

As consumers, our communication patterns, searches and online habits create a digital trail that means algorithms are getting to know many of us better than we know ourselves. Yet the trust and transparency challenges that confront the globalised food system – such as substitution, tampering, misrepresentation, illegal production and contamination – are still compounded by a lack of supply chain traceability.

The problem is, every company has its own way of working: inaccuracies are caused by traditional paper tracking and manual inspection systems; transactions are handled in siloed databases, resulting in opaque supply chains. When it comes to a recall, this can make the difference between identifying a few contaminated bags of spinach, and pulling the entire stock of spinach from hundreds of stores.

As one of 2017’s most talked-about technologies, Blockchain is being positioned as the way to “provide trust in an untrusted world” by transforming systems of record, with use cases ranging from carbon credits to diamonds. But what is it, how does it work, and how can it be applied to solve food supply chain management challenges?

What is Blockchain and how does it work

Blockchain was developed in the aftermath of the financial crisis of 2007/8 to deliver transparency, security and efficiency in managing transactions between multiple parties without involving banks. This gave rise to crypto-currencies such as Bitcoin, which can be transmitted worldwide without friction: no intermediaries, regulation or the need to know or trust the parties involved – the so-called “trustless” system.

In the simplest terms, Blockchain is a way to structure data. It uses distributed ledger technology: a database that, rather than being stored in one place, is continuously synchronised and shared among all members of a peer-to-peer network for real-time data transparency.

When a digital transaction is carried out, it is grouped together in a cryptographically-protected block with other transactions that have occurred in the last ten minutes and sent out to the entire network.

Once validated by consensus, the block of transactions is timestamped and permanently added to a chain in chronological order. New blocks are linked to older blocks and contain a reference to the previous block (called a “hash, which is somewhat like a digital fingerprint).

A distributed database cannot be hacked, manipulated or disrupted in the same way as a traditional, centralised database with a user-controlled access system. The data is immutable: once it has been written to a Blockchain, nobody – not even a system administrator – can modify or tamper with it. The technology can work for almost any type of transaction involving value, such as money, goods, land ownership, work, medical information or even votes.

How can Blockchain be applied to the food industry?

Today’s supply chains have an inherent weakness: individual parties are using disparate digital systems, different technologies, and paper-based processes to bridge the gaps. This makes it inefficient to share the critical data that drives supply chain interactions, or to guarantee a high degree of rigour and accuracy.

Blockchain-infused traceability systems could deliver the transparency and trust that has eluded the food industry until now. With immutable data, it has the potential to give growers, suppliers, processors, distributors, retailers, regulators and consumers access to reliable information on the origin and state of food.

Blockchain for agriculture – It will become feasible for farms to create digital records for individual animals to track the lifecycle from farm to fork, using technology such as RFID tags. This enables consumers to read the “digital history” of meat down to the individual animal, including who raised it, how it was raised, what it was fed and who processed it, simply by scanning a QR code on the packaging. As the lynchpin of our food supply, farmers typically have little visibility to the end consumer, and could stand to gain a new voice and new distribution opportunities through participation on Blockchain. There are also exciting possibilities for creating business value with new, previously unattainable data that could be made available through Blockchain, such as how much fertiliser or water was used, as evidence of sustainability assertions.

Blockchain for distributors – Distributors could provide more transparency to processors and buyers in terms of product type, farming practices, harvest data and Fair Trade or similar certifications. With the addition of appropriate sensor technology, valuable information could be provided to actors up the chain, such as the duration of the journey while a product is in transit, or the temperature and humidity of the truck it travels in, to demonstrate that the product is fir for use or sale on arrival.

Blockchain for food processors and producers – As food processors often struggle to validate the origin of their ingredients, Blockchain would enable the validation of information about input products without violating trust be-tween individual entities. For food producers, the nature of Blockchain would mean that any attempt to tamper with a product as it moves through the sup-ply chain could be immediately identified and prevented before it ever reaches a retailer.

Blockchain for retailers – As bricks and mortar stones are faced with in-creasing competition from online food providers such as Amazon, supermarkets often want to provide local produce as a differentiator. With Blockchain providing a web of trust, the information value provided by local farms could be bound to the claims made by grocers. This could effectively create a new model for providing local produce through a national chain, with the evidence of quality, transport and freshness that consumers insist on. Not only can this rich seam of information be used to create a point of sale educational opportunity, but it also bolsters the capacity for a digital recall in the event of a safety issue, such as food-borne illness. In the event that a potentially contaminated product somehow made it onto the shelves, stores could rapidly identify, isolate and remove only the affected items without the need for a costly whole-batch recall.

Blockchain for foodservice – Restaurants have a direct relationship with the ultimate consumer and a growing number are keen to emphasise the quality and sustainability of their food. It could prove a considerable competitive ad-vantage be able to authenticate their menus and justify a premium for local, organic or free range produce.

Blockchain offers many practical solutions to today’s impractical system, and should promote better communication between all parts of the food chain and, just as importantly, between producers and consumers.

Blockchain offers many practical solutions to today’s impractical system and should promote better communication between all parts of the food chain and just importantly, between producers and consumers.

The future is already here

The promise of Blockchain isn’t far-off utopian vision. US agricultural conglomerate, Cargill, has made an early foray into Blockchain, with a pilot through its Honeysuckle White brand. The initiative, launched ahead of 2017’s Thanksgiving celebrations, allowed consumers to trace their individual Thanksgiving turkey from the store where they bought it to the farm that raised it.

Walmart is currently piloting Blockchain technology to trace mangos, in their US stores, and has cut the time it took to provide gate-to-plate traceability to two seconds – a process which used to take weeks. Walmart is also among several companies embracing a new initiative in China focused on food safety and traceability with Blockchain as its technical foundation, following numerous high-profile fake food scandals in the world’s most populous country.

A consortium including Dole, Nestlé and Unilever is working to identify opportunities for the use of Blockchain to improve data integrity and trust between parties in “Big Food”. Meanwhile, technology vendors including IBM and Microsoft are collaborating with GS1, the global business communications standards organisation, to determine how the structure data stored or referenced by Blockchains for shared communications and interoperability through the use of standards.

So while Blockchain may seem like the buzzword of 2017 and will no doubt be the subject of much discussion, it has real potential to be a game-changer for food supply chains, helping the industry to achieve the holy trinity of trust, transparency and traceability.

To understand how Signum Solutions can help in your Blockchain journey, contact [email protected]