By: Jens Førsvoll and Sander Fredheim Åndal
The fish farming industry is one of the fastest growing industries in Norway, and is stated to be the “new oil” and one of the most important industries for the future. Blockchain is one of the biggest buzzwords in the business environment today and there have in the last years been more use areas towards logistics and supply chain management.
According to Deloitte (2017) traceability breaches or frauds, is the most straightforward examples of corrupt practices in the food industry. With scandals and recalls of products impacting the industry, companies have a key challenge in making the supply chain information more reliable.
In this study, the authors were set to explore how blockchain technology could improve supply chain visibility. To reach the objective of answering the research question, the authors found it necessary to conduct a case study of a general supply chain. The authors, therefore, analysed the fish farming industry and investigated whether the industry as a whole could benefit from blockchain technology. Also, it was found necessary to examine key barriers for technology adoption. To do so, exploratory research was conducted based on semi-structured interviews with actors from the fish farming industry and blockchain experts.
The theoretical background will consist of theory regarding supply chain visibility, the fish farming industry and lastly, various blockchain concepts to build up evidence and documentation for the discussion. The results are divided into two parts, where the authors first will include industry findings on the current situation. Further, will the second part display the findings related to blockchain technology and how it can affect the current situation in the fish farming supply chain.
The fish farming industry faces some significant challenges regarding factors such as cost, quality, and sustainability. There has been an increasing awareness within the end-consumers about sustainability. This awareness affects both fish farmers and the whole supply chain within the industry. The industry has been facing volume constraints due to regulations, biological challenges, and a need for technical development (EY, 2018).
The main conclusion that can be drawn from the results is that blockchain can enhance visibility in the industry with usefulness of the information, where better operational efficiency through better forecasting and planning through data analytics would increase business value. Further, would the quality of information and the documentation of information of the fish be more secure and reliable using blockchain technology. Lastly, will blockchain combined with other technologies improve how the fish farming supply chain capture information through autonomous solutions.
To be able to write the master thesis about blockchain with a case study of the fish farming industry, the authors have been introduced to a blockchain startup called Unisot, where Stephan Nilsson is the contact person. Unisot has developed an open blockchain platform that has the potential to change the dynamics of the entire supply chain. The authors are highly motivated to investigate blockchain technology which can provide the tools and services to deliver more efficiency, secure data sharing, global traceability, and process automation across the supply chain in the fish farming industry. The main motivation for collaborating with Unisot is the opportunity to get knowledge on blockchain technology and the benefits of the broad network the contact person has.