Skip to main navigation menu Skip to main content Skip to site footer

Regular Articles

Vol. 25 No. 2 (2023): Special Issue 30th Annual Conference of the Società Italiana di Economia Agro-alimentare (SIEA – Italian Association of Agri-Food Economics), Rome (Italy), June 23-24, 2022

Blockchain in the agrifood sector: From storytelling to traceability fact-checking up to new economic models

novembre 20, 2022


This paper aims to demystify a lot of misconceptions still widely circulating today about the alleged properties of blockchain and then illustrate the real opportunities that this technology offers for “food system” and how it must be correctly implemented for it to be truly useful, for producers and consumers, particularly in the agrifood sector. The concepts of blockchain opportunities and incompleteness of agri-food chain projects based on blockchain technology are then explained, setting out the minimum and necessary characteristics required to make the use of this technology useful and effective (Minimum Viable Ecosystem). The process governance levels for the development and maintenance of a blockchain traceability project are then illustrated, focusing on the role and responsibility of each player in the supply chain.
Finally, the structure of a blockchain solution is described, focusing on a number of structural and technological solutions by outlining the concepts of consistency checking for the validation of input data with appropriate smart contracts, and of information frameworks for the subsequent scrutiny of data in audit operations and the assignment of levels of reliability.
These are essential prerequisites for a collaborative blockchain data management to pursue the objective of actual reliability and transparency of information.


  1. Akgiray, V. (2019). The Potential for Blockchain Technology in Corporate Governance. OECD, Corporate Governance Working Papers, No. 21. Paris: OECD Publishing. doi: 10.1787/ef4eba4c-en.
  2. Berryhill, J., Bourgery, T., & Hanson, A. (2018). Blockchains Unchained: Blockchain Technology and its Use in the Public Sector. OECD Working Papers on Public Governance, No. 28. Paris: OECD Publishing. doi: 10.1787/3c32c429-en.
  3. Biggs, J., Hinish, S.R., Natale, M.A., & Patronick, M. (2018). Blockchain: Revolutionizing the Global Supply Chain by Building Trust and Transparency. -- Available at
  4. Cirianni, A., Fanfani, R., & Gismondi, R. (2021). ISTAT working papers: Struttura produttiva e performance economica della filiera agroalimentare italiana. --
  5. Di Cillo, M. (2021). L’applicazione delle tecnologie smart contract e blockchain al settore agrifood: profili innovativi e criticità. Camminio Diritto, 11. -- Available at
  6. Florian, M., Henningsen, S., Beaucamp, S., & Scheuermann, B. (2019). Erasing Data from Blockchain Nodes. In 2019 IEEE European Symposium on Security and Privacy Workshops (EuroS&PW). Stockholm, Sweden. doi: 10.1109/ EuroSPW.2019.00047.
  7. Gelernter, D.H. (1991). Mirror Worlds: or the Day Software Puts the Universe in a Shoebox – How It Will Happen and What It Will Mean. Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press.
  8. Kamath, R. (2018). Food traceability on blockchain: Walmart’s pork and mango pilots with IBM. The Journal of the British Blockchain Association, 1(1), 3712.
  9. Khaqqi, K.N., Sikorski, J.J., Hadinoto, K., & Kraft, M. (2018). Incorporating seller/buyer reputation-based system in blockchain-enabled emission trading application. Applied Energy, 209, 8-19.
  10. Notland, J.S., & Hua, A.V. (2017). Project Thesis Blockchain enabled Trust & Transparency in supply chains. doi: 10.13140/RG.2.2.22304.58886.
  11. Pergamo, R. (2020). La blockchain: la tecnologia e l’applicazione al settore agroalimentare. Pianeta PSR, 93, July-August.
  12. Perpete, S. (2020). Challenges and opportunities of using blockchain technology in the food supply chain. Focus on organic food supply chain. Liege University Library. -- Available at
  13. Pranata, A.R., & Tehrani, P.M. (2022). The Legality of Smart Contracts in a Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO). Regulatory Aspects of Artificial Intelligence on Blockchain (pp. 112-131). IGI Global.
  14. Rampone, F. (2019). Smart Contract, né smart né contract. Rivista Diritto Privato, 2, 241-258.
  15. Salah, K., Damiani, E., Al-Fuqaha, A., Martin, T., Taha, K., & Khan, M.K. (2018). Open execution – The blockchain model. IEEE Blockchain Technical Briefs. --
  16. Schebesta, H., & Candel, J.J. (2020). Game-changing potential of the EUs Farm to Fork Strategy. Nature Food, 1(10).
  17. Sharma, S. (2017). Climate change and blockchain. -- Available at SSRN:
  18. Sylvester, G. (2019). E-agriculture in action: blockchain for agriculture. Opportunities and challenges. FAO/ITU.
  19. Tripoli, M., & Schmidhuber, J. (2018). Emerging Opportunities for the Application of Blockchain in the Agri-food Industry. Rome-Geneva: FAO and ICTSD.
  20. Van, Pelta R., Jansena, S., Baarsb, D., & Overbeek, S. (2021). Defining Blockchain Governance: A Framework for Analysis and Comparison. Information System Management, 38(1), 22. doi: 10.1080/10580530.2020.1720046.
  21. Wyoming - SF0038 - Decentralized autonomous organizations --, --
  22. Xu, J., Guo, S., Xie, D., & Yan, Y. (2020). Blockchain: A new safeguard for agrifoods. Artificial Intelligence in Agriculture, 4, Elsevier.


Metrics Loading ...