With funding from the Lombardy Region and the Lombardy Chamber System under the Agreement for the Development and Competitiveness of the Lombardy System, the working group that includes Techinnova has initiated the development phases of the project “Red Meat, Lean and Smart Supply Chain,” as part of the “Innovation of Circular Economy Supply Chains in Lombardy – Phase 3″ call.

The project’s goal is to utilize blockchain technology to enable both supply chain actors and consumers to verify the authenticity of information related to the production and distribution processes of meat.

Red Meat Lean & Smart Supply Chain

Beneficiary: Techinnova S.p.A.

Initiative realized under Axis 1 – Promoting the development and competitiveness of the Lombardy economic system

Objective: To support the transition of small and medium-sized enterprises in Lombardy towards a circular economy model, the requalification of Lombardy’s sectors and supply chains, and the competitive repositioning of entire sectors in relation to markets

Action Program 2020 – Agreement for the economic development and competitiveness of the Lombardy system

Project Description: Utilization of blockchain technology within the meat production supply chain to ensure the traceability of information related to the production and distribution processes for the final consumer.

HOW BLOCKCHAIN WORKS

The research and development efforts have focused on the paradigm of blockchain technology to certify the entire supply chain and the value of the product. The benefits of blockchain are particularly significant for the processing industry and all activities and developments related to food certification. Blockchain enables the creation of open supply chains where all actors—raw material producers, logistics and transport companies, businesses involved in various levels of raw material transformation, packaging companies, marketing firms, and retailers—can contribute data and information. They can also monitor, with maximum transparency, the data of all other actors.

Thus, the data related to each product can be made available for the benefit of the final consumer. In this way, blockchain allows for the creation of more open, efficient, and secure supply chains.

BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGY FOR MEAT TRACEABILITY

In Agrifood, blockchain finds an excellent “ally.” Some of the practical applications of blockchain in Agrifood include traceability and transparency for those who want to “tell the story” of their food, using blockchain to ensure reliability. The benefits of blockchain in Agrifood are numerous, from decentralization and shared control to immutability and preservation of information.

Specifically, within the project “RED MEAT, LEAN & SMART SUPPLY CHAIN,” the use of blockchain enables both supply chain actors and consumers to verify the authenticity of information related to the production and distribution processes of products. The block validation mechanism based on mining, which underpins blockchain technology, guarantees the authenticity and immutability of data stored in a distributed ledger through a cryptographic hash function. This verification mechanism can be used by anyone at any time and does not require a third party to guarantee and certify the data.

Thus, the blockchain-based traceability system represents a substantial improvement over existing traceability systems (both mandatory and voluntary), as it does not rely on the third-party certification model. Additionally, the proposed system does not have territorial limitations, unlike legally regulated traceability systems, which are necessarily implemented on a national basis.

THE ADVANTAGES OF BLOCKCHAIN

RELIABILITY

Not governed by a central authority but controlled partially by all direct participants of the entire chain, blockchain becomes a less centralized, less governable, yet much more secure and reliable system.

TRANSPARENCY

Decentralization goes hand in hand with absolute data transparency: the ledger can be consulted by anyone within the system, remaining immutable.

EFFICIENCY

Conducting transactions through blockchain is cost-efficient for all participants, as it eliminates the need for third-party intermediaries, necessary in all conventional transactions between two or more parties.

SOLIDITY

Information already entered into the blockchain cannot be modified in any way. This makes the information contained within the blockchain more solid and reliable, as it remains unchanged from the time it was first entered.

IRREVOCABILITY

Blockchain enables irrevocable transactions that are also more easily traceable. This ensures that transactions are final, without any possibility of being modified or annulled.

DIGITALIZATION

Thanks to digitalization, consumers do not have to rely solely on what they read on packaging. With their smartphones, they can read the history of the product by scanning the QR code that contains the certificate of supply chain traceability.

THE ECO-CIRCULARITY FACTOR

The added value of the RED MEAT, LEAN AND SMART SUPPLY CHAIN project includes the potential for recovery and valorization of co-products and by-products derived from cattle processing.

The meat supply chain is a virtuous example of a circular economy: a concept that should not be seen merely as waste reduction. The circular economy is, in fact, a genuine economic model where waste is eliminated at its source, and every product generated in the transformation process finds its specific productive use and market segment: an intelligent ecosystem of integrated and complementary industrial processes.

In a time when the concept of a circular economy is rightly gaining importance, it is essential to highlight the numerous products – not just meat and milk – derived from cattle, some of which are quite unexpected and fascinating (see image). To this end, project partners have initiated collaborations and signed agreements with local companies for the reuse and processing of parts derived from production cycles, optimizing the resources used in the production process. For example, offal (internal organs, heart, etc.) is currently sold to a company in Piedmont that produces high-quality dog food.

PARTNERS

Pascol S.r.l. is an innovative startup born from the desire to offer genuine meat, sustainably raised and of certain origin.

As the project leader, Pascol aims to ensure a systemic vision of the processes that will lead to a shift in awareness, through collaborations, contracts, tools, and methodologies. For this reason, the company is structuring itself with a holistic approach, compatible and coherent with environmental and social development and protection objectives.

CRIPAX CREATIONS S.r.l.s. is an innovative startup operating in the 3D graphics sector, also offering solutions in Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and SMART APPs. CriPax Creations boasts many years of experience in building complex IT systems and applied engineering solutions.

Recently, they have played a leading role in developing blockchain technologies. Within the project, they are responsible for the software and programming aspects of the blockchain architecture.

INSOLITO CINEMA S.r.l. is an audiovisual production and documentation company operating in the field of integrated communication and event services. Insolito Cinema specializes in creating digital communication tools, including innovative ones.

Within the project, Insolito Cinema is responsible for conveying data and information, as well as the project’s benefits, through specific communication plans designed using techniques for identifying user segment levels, or “personas.”

Techinnova S.p.A. is a Research and Technology Transfer Center (CRTT) certified by QUESTIO from the Lombardy Region and the Ministry of Enterprises and Made in Italy (MIMIT).

Within the project, it is responsible for integrating blockchain to ensure the traceability and authenticity of information regarding the production and distribution processes of products. Specifically, its activities include studying primary and secondary use cases developed in the construction of the basic blockchain architecture and monitored through the selection of specific KPIs.

REALISED WITH THE SUPPORT OF