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Review article2023Peer reviewedOpen access

The intersection of blockchain technology and circular economy in the agri-food sector

Pakseresht, Ashkan; Yavari, Ali; Kaliji, Sina Ahmadi; Hakelius, Karin


A transition towards a circular economy within the agri-food sector requires the improvement of efficiency in resource utilization, the prevention of food loss or waste, whilst adopting regenerative agricultural practices. In addition to the technical challenges, the agri-food industry needs to address the food safety concerns resulting from biomass recycling processes. Increasingly, blockchain technology is gaining traction, moving towards more sustainable and precision agriculture. The blockchain is a decentralized, immutable, and shared database that records the provenance of digital assets, making it a suitable platform for traceability and food supply chain management. Despite its growing importance, the existing literature regarding these themes and the empirical evidence of blockchain-based solutions for a circular economy is rather fragmented. This paper offers a scoping review regarding the role of blockchain technology in the transition towards a circular food system. A total of 44 papers published in peer-reviewed journals were reviewed to identify new scientific insights into the application of blockchains within the agricultural sector. The results indicate that blockchain technology has a great potential in reducing food loss through optimized eco-efficiency (e.g., digitalization and integration with the Internet of Things) and by alleviating asymmetric information (by increasing transparency and reducing dependence on intermediaries). However, in the case of recycling efficiency, despite its potential, there remains a paucity of evidence regarding the use of blockchain technology in improving the residual valorization processes. Furthermore, there is a stream of literature focusing on the ability of blockchain-enabled traceability (e.g., for organic production or supply chain management). Yet, the role of blockchain traceability in the monitoring of risks from recycled biomass and the reporting of the sustainability performance in the supply chain has received scant attention within research literature. These results provide insights for supply chain management operations with the view of shifting towards a circular economy whilst also suggesting an agenda for future research areas. (c) 2022 Institution of Chemical Engineers. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (


Eco-ef ficiency; Precision agriculture; Supply chain; Traceability; Valorization

Published in

Sustainable Production and Consumption
2023, Volume: 35, pages: 260-274

    Associated SLU-program


    Sustainable Development Goals

    SDG2 Zero hunger
    SDG9 Industry, innovation and infrastructure

    UKÄ Subject classification


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