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The retail industry has become increasingly complex in the past decades. Products are made in one part of the world, assembled in another and sold in a third part of the world, whether it is food, clothing or flowers. As a result of this complexity, transparency has become challenging, and it is not always clear to consumers how and what products move through the supply chain. When it comes to tracking products from farm to plate, customers are often left on their own. Even with Fair Trade, where transparency is a pre-condition, it is often difficult to verify if a Fair Trade product is indeed fair.
This lack of transparency is increasingly a source of discontent for consumers, who want to know what they buy, the materials sourced and if regulations were followed. However, it is also necessary for retailers to understand how their products move through the supply chain. Not only for non-eatable goods but especially also for perishable goods it is important to be certain whether, for example, the temperature during transportation remained within certain limits. As such, the provenance of products is becoming increasingly important, and that is exactly where blockchain could contribute.
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