Blockchain technology in agri-food value chain management: A synthesis of applications, challenges and future research directions

Guoqing Zhao, Shaofeng Liu, Carmen Lopez, Haiyan Lu, Sebastian Elgueta, Huilan Chen, Biljana Mileva Boshkoska

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Agri-food value chain is an area of significant importance because of providing sustainable, affordable, safety and sufficient food, feed, fibre and fuel to consumers, it is critical to ensure these value chains running smoothly and successfully by applying advanced internet technologies. Blockchain technology is a new digital technological approach underpinned by the Industry 4.0 to ensuring data integrity and preventing tampering and single point failure through offering fault-tolerance, immutability, trust, transparency and full traceability of the stored transaction records to all agri-food value chain partners. This paper used systematic literature network analysis to review the state-of-the-art blockchain technology including its recent advances, main applications in agri-food value chain and challenges from a holistic perspective. The findings suggest that blockchain technology together with advanced information and communication technology and internet of things have been adopted for the improvement of agri-food value chain management in four main aspects: traceability, information security, manufacturing and sustainable water management. Six challenges have been identified including storage capacity and scalability, privacy leakage, high cost and regulation problem, throughput and latency issue, and lack of skills. Based on the critical analysis of literature, research gaps and future research directions are proposed in this paper regarding the applications and challenges of blockchain technology in agri-food value chain management. This study makes contributions to the extant literature in the field of agri-food value chain management by discovering the potential of blockchain technology and its implications for agri-food value chain performance improvements such as food safety, food quality and food traceability.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)83-99
    Number of pages17
    JournalComputers in Industry
    Publication statusPublished - 3 May 2019


    • Blockchain technology
    • Systematic literature network analysis
    • Industry 4.0
    • Internet of things (IoT)
    • Agri-food value chain digitisation


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