Nowadays, due to increasing demand, food production has changed and so has the whole food supply chain. Vegetables, fruits and meat are traveling long distances to reach stores, and then to consumer’s kitchens. Longer and more complicated processing and transportation procedures are required, providing many opportunities for disease-causing organisms and other food safety hazards to enter food supply and as a result, several food security issues have appeared.
As the volume of international trade expands, so too have the opportunities for contaminated food to reach consumers’ tables. The importance of food safety certification is absolutely critical, as nutrition and food fraud scandals have led consumers to be more cautious with their food selections. Food certification and audit does not only provide proof that the product itself is safe to use, but also enhances brand recognition and guarantee the product quality to the consumers. This procedure, enables enterprises, and especially SMEs, to penetrate to new markets, establishing a wide-scale reach of their brands.
However, most regulations, standards, and certification programs require audits to be conducted with some standard frequency. For many food companies determining how to meet these audit requirements amidst Covid 19 travel restrictions has presented a significant challenge.
The solution to this problem is integrated in the innovation that will be released in 2023 from top-notch European companies and universities that have joined forces to minimize the bottlenecks, emerged since the pandemic’s outbreak. TheFSM project is an EU-funded project as part of Horizon 2020, that aims to develop an SME-powered industrial data platform to boost the competitiveness of European food certification and provide a technological solution in the food safety supply chain. TheFSM platform will build upon three platforms (FOODAKAI 2.0, AGRIVI 2.0, Food Inspector), and utilize state-of-art blockchain technologies to create an open and collaborative virtual environment that facilitates the exchange and connection of data between different food safety actors interested in sharing information that is critical to certification and food security.