Originally published as a blog post on the Slaughter and May Innovation and emerging tech blog
Every January, thousands of people sign up to the #Veganuary challenge. Those who sign up agree to stick to an entirely plant based (vegan) diet. People's reasons for doing so are varied but concerns about the sustainability of food production and environmentalism more generally are often cited.
By the end of this month many of those who attempted #Veganuary will revert back to eating meat, fish and dairy but their concerns about the impact of their diet on the environment may not fade away.
Perhaps these consumers will be reassured by the creation of new technologies which aim to create transparency around whether the food they are eating is contributing to environmental degradation or social injustice.
One such technology works by a tag being attached to the product at the point of origin and then again at the point of production. The information regarding these products is stored on a blockchain.
At the point of buying the product, consumers can scan a QR code and find out about the supply chain and the steps that have been taken before the food arrives on their plate.
It remains to be seen, however, whether supplying consumers with this information will then impact their purchasing habits.