New Technical Specification Aims to Improve Traceability of Canola

Food safety depends on how well produce can be tracked from farm to table. Distributed ledger technologies like blockchain are well suited to this task. They provide an immutable and easily available record that can be used to follow items through supply chains.

The CIO Strategy Council, in collaboration with the Standards Council of Canada and with the support of the Protein Industries Supercluster and its members, has published a new technical specification (CIOSC/TS 114) for agricultural blockchain focused on traceability of canola in the Canadian supply chain. Around 43,000 Canadian farmers grow 20 million tonnes of the crop each year, making Canada the world’s largest canola producer.

The technical specification provides minimum requirements for scalable distributed ledger technologies to strengthen the supply chain and increase traceability of agricultural commodities in Canada. It considers requirements for digital tokens, source verification, blockchain protocols, data standards and contract management.

“Leveraging standards to increase both Canadian food safety and economic growth are priorities for the Standards Council of Canada. This technical specification for canola will concretely demonstrate blockchain applicability for Canada’s agricultural industry and for Canadian supply chains, through increased interoperability, traceability, transparency, and efficiency.” – Chantal Guay, CEO, Standards Council of Canada

“The Canadian Blockchain Supply Chain Association is happy to have contributed to this important first step to an official standard for the Canadian canola supply chain. We see the use of blockchain as critical to the modernization of our agricultural industry and creating these standards as an important step to securing our food quality, safety, and security.” – Erik Valiquette, President, Canadian Blockchain Supply Chain Association

“The ability to trace Canada’s canola from farm to fork provides benefits for everyone along our country’s plant-based food and ingredients value chain. Having this standard will provide buyers with increased confidence that what they’re buying meets their specifications, while consumers can be confident that they’re eating high-quality, sustainably produced plant proteins. All of which sets Canada up to be a global leader in the supply of plant-based food and ingredients.” – Bill Greuel, CEO, Protein Industries Canada

“Farmers Edge is thrilled to see the completion of this standard and was happy to participate in its development. Full supply chain traceability, delivered through blockchain, will deliver on the expectations of consumers that increasingly want to know where and how their food was grown and what impact its production had on the environment. Owner-controlled access to production data will allow for participation in new and higher profit markets, delivering benefits to all participants in the value chain.” ­– Jamie Denbow, Vice President of Digital Agronomy, Farmers Edge

“Canola is an economically important commodity to Canada. Publication of this technical specification will further enhance confidence in the traceability of Canadian canola. It will also encourage development of new technologies to track and process crops.” – Keith Jansa, Executive Director, CIO Strategy Council 

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