World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Switzerland, and BCG Digital Ventures (BCGDV), the Manhattan Beach, Calif.-based corporate venture, investment and incubation arm of Boston Consulting Group, Boston, Mass., launched OpenSC, a revolutionary new platform that leverages blockchain and other leading technologies to track the provenance of food from source to table.

This digital platform helps businesses remove illegal, environmentally-damaging or unethical products from their supply chains.

Once the QR code is scanned, OpenSC automatically provides details regarding where the product came from, when and how it was produced and how it journeyed along the supply chain.

“Through OpenSC, we will have a whole new level of transparency about whether the food we eat is contributing to environmental degradation of habitats and species, as well as social injustice and human rights issues such as slavery. OpenSC will revolutionize how we all buy food and other products as well, enabling more informed decision-making by consumers, businesses, governments and industry bodies,” says Dermot O’Gorman, chief executive officer of WWF-Australia.

With OpenSC, businesses can track their products, such as fish or beef, by attaching a digital tag (such as an RFID tag) at the products’ original point of production. This tag is linked to a tamper-proof blockchain platform that automatically records the movement of the product through the supply chain. This system can also record additional information, such as temperature of food throughout storage and transport.

“OpenSC is invaluable for businesses that are committed to sustainable and ethical operations. In addition to providing transparency about the origin of an item’s production, OpenSC helps optimize business supply chain operations, reduces costs and enables producers to manage issues such as product recalls,” says Paul Hunyor, managing director of BCGDV and co-chair of the World Economic Forum Council on the Future of Consumption.

The technology behind the platform was built to be compatible with existing supply chain operations and sustainability certifications, but also to interface with other blockchain-enabled providence solutions.  

OpenSC was designed following a pilot by WWF and its partners to track tuna caught in the Pacific.

“We are launching one of the world’s first ‘profit with purpose’ startups that uses blockchain to help achieve the sustainable development goals. OpenSC does this by using cutting-edge technology to help stamp out unscrupulous operators who fish in illegal areas, bulldoze virgin forests or engage in slave labor,” O’Gorman says.