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Adapting new data technologies may lead to fairer food prices for consumers and producers, by increasing transparency.
Associate Professor Michaela Balzarova of Te Rāngai Umanga me te Ture | College of Business and Law is conducting theoretical research into eco-labelling schemes and voluntary environmental systems that businesses adopt to mitigate their environmental and social impacts. She is also exploring alternative schemes and to what extent blockchain technology helps to address sustainability challenges that arise from problems of production and consumption of goods and services.
Blockchain - Way - Transparency - Transactions - Data
Using blockchain in future, she suggests, could be a way of ensuring transparency of transactions, gathering more accurate data and eliminating the need for intermediaries. Associate Professor Balzarova believes that once present problems related to trust and a lack of experience with blockchain technology are addressed, using blockchain platform for future transactions could result in reduced prices for consumers and fairer returns for farmers.
For example, Fair Trade labels have been developed to improve the livelihoods of farmers in developing countries. In the case of coffee, the problem with this approach is that products may have gone through as many as 26 intermediaries that may have added no value to the product or service and consumers have no way of knowing if the price they have paid is fair. The transactions are not transparent and are not direct.
Eco-labels - Consumer - Demand - Production - Processes
Eco-labels were created to address increased consumer demand for environmentally sound and ethical production processes and to provide the consumer with better information about the product, allowing them to make more environmentally friendly purchases. However, literature is inconclusive about the social, economic and environmental effectiveness of eco-labels. In other words, it is not clear whether eco-labels deliver what they promise—that is, creating conditions for indefinite sustainable production and overcoming inequalities within the supply chain—or if...
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