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The acceptance of blockchain technology in meat traceability and transparency

Fabian Sander (School of Business and Economics, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands)
Janjaap Semeijn (Department of Marketing and SCM, School of Business and Economics, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands)
Dominik Mahr (School of Business and Economics, Service Science Factory, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 7 August 2018

Issue publication date: 30 August 2018

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate meat traceability by outlining the different perspectives and opinions of meat supply chain stakeholders (SCSs); it also evaluates potential of acceptance of blockchain technology (BCT) as a viable transparency and traceability system (TTS).

Design/methodology/approach

A questionnaire survey of 141 consumers reveals their opinions about TTSs. In addition, semi-structured interviews with seven retail managers, four government officials and one blockchain service provider (Project Provenance Ltd) provide expert insights.

Findings

The results demonstrate that consumers are overwhelmed by the amount and complexity of certification labels. As a TTS, BCT implementation appears to have significant positive influences on consumers’ purchasing decisions, mediated by consumers’ quality perceptions. This study reveals the discordant perspectives of different stakeholders with regard to the importance of a BCT-based TTS.

Originality/value

This study investigates current TTSs and certification labels, and probes customer perception of a potential BCT-based solution for meat traceability. Changes to supply chains’ mentality and the active establishment of trust in BCT applications are needed. Firms should take both holistic and altruistic views to deal with the challenges of TTSs in the meat supply chain. The adoption of BCT, in combination with DNA coding, seems promising as a solution to many of the issues that currently plague TTSs.

Keywords

Citation

Sander, F., Semeijn, J. and Mahr, D. (2018), "The acceptance of blockchain technology in meat traceability and transparency", British Food Journal, Vol. 120 No. 9, pp. 2066-2079. https://doi.org/10.1108/BFJ-07-2017-0365

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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