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Title: The intersection of blockchain technology and circular economy in the agri-food sector
Authors: Pakseresht, A
Yavari, A
Ahmadi Kaliji, S
Hakelius, K
Keywords: eco-efficiency;precision agriculture;supply chainTraceability;valorization
Issue Date: 12-Nov-2022
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: Pakseresht, A. et al. (2023) 'The intersection of blockchain technology and circular economy in the agri-food sector', Sustainable Production and Consumption, 35, pp. 260 -274. doi: 10.1016/j.spc.2022.11.002..
Abstract: Copyright © 2022 The Authors / Institution of Chemical Engineers. A transition towards a circular economy within the agri-food sector requires the improvement of efficiency in resource utilization, the prevention of food loss or waste, whilst adopting regenerative agricultural practices. In addition to the technical challenges, the agri-food industry needs to address the food safety concerns resulting from biomass recycling processes. Increasingly, blockchain technology is gaining traction, moving towards more sustainable and precision agriculture. The blockchain is a decentralized, immutable, and shared database that records the provenance of digital assets, making it a suitable platform for traceability and food supply chain management. Despite its growing importance, the existing literature regarding these themes and the empirical evidence of blockchain-based solutions for a circular economy is rather fragmented. This paper offers a scoping review regarding the role of blockchain technology in the transition towards a circular food system. A total of 44 papers published in peer-reviewed journals were reviewed to identify new scientific insights into the application of blockchains within the agricultural sector. The results indicate that blockchain technology has a great potential in reducing food loss through optimized eco-efficiency (e.g., digitalization and integration with the Internet of Things) and by alleviating asymmetric information (by increasing transparency and reducing dependence on intermediaries). However, in the case of recycling efficiency, despite its potential, there remains a paucity of evidence regarding the use of blockchain technology in improving the residual valorization processes. Furthermore, there is a stream of literature focusing on the ability of blockchain-enabled traceability (e.g., for organic production or supply chain management). Yet, the role of blockchain traceability in the monitoring of risks from recycled biomass and the reporting of the sustainability performance in the supply chain has received scant attention within research literature. These results provide insights for supply chain management operations with the view of shifting towards a circular economy whilst also suggesting an agenda for future research areas.
Description: The following are the supplementary data related to this article: Table A1. Main drivers and examples of food loss and waste across food supply chains (not exhaustive). Available online at: (Word document (33KB)); Table B1. A List of the reviewed literature and a summary of the findings (in total 44 articles were collected of which 39 were retrieved from databases and five articles were added manually after checking the references within the reviewed articles). Available online at: (Word document (59KB)); Table C1. Evidence of employing blockchain-based use cases on the ‘Circular Economy’ within the agri-food domain. Available online at: (Word document (47KB)).
Other Identifiers: ORCID iD: Ashkan Pakseresht
Appears in Collections:Brunel Business School Research Papers

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