Skip to main content
SLU publication database (SLUpub)
Review article - Peer-reviewed, 2023

The Role of Blockchain Technology in Promoting Traceability Systems in Agri-Food Production and Supply Chains

Bosona, Techane; Gebresenbet, Girma


Due to recurring food quality and safety issues, growing segments of consumers, especially in developed markets, and regulators in agri-food supply chains (AFSCs) require a fast and trustworthy system to retrieve necessary information on their food products. With the existing centralized traceability systems used in AFSCs, it is difficult to acquire full traceability information, and there are risks of information loss and data tampering. To address these challenges, research on the application of blockchain technology (BCT) for traceability systems in the agri-food sector is increasing, and startup companies have emerged in recent years. However, there have been only a limited number of reviews on the application of BCT in the agriculture sector, especially those that focus on the BCT-based traceability of agricultural goods. To bridge this knowledge gap, we reviewed 78 studies that integrated BCT into traceability systems in AFSCs and additional relevant papers, mapping out the main types of food traceability information. The findings indicated that the existing BCT-based traceability systems focus more on fruit and vegetables, meat, dairy, and milk. A BCT-based traceability system enables one to develop and implement a decentralized, immutable, transparent, and reliable system in which process automation facilitates the monitoring of real-time data and decision-making activities. We also mapped out the main traceability information, key information providers, and challenges and benefits of the BCT-based traceability systems in AFSCs. These helped to design, develop, and implement BCT-based traceability systems, which, in turn, will contribute to the transition to smart AFSC systems. This study comprehensively illustrated that implementing BCT-based traceability systems also has important, positive implications for improving AFSC management, e.g., reductions in food loss and food recall incidents and the achievement of the United Nations SDGs (1, 3, 5, 9, 12). This will contribute to existing knowledge and be useful for academicians, managers, and practitioners in AFSCs, as well as policymakers.


blockchain; Internet of Things; agri-food chain; traceability

Published in

2023, Volume: 23, number: 11, article number: 5342

      SLU Authors

    • Sustainable Development Goals

      SDG2 Zero hunger
      SDG9 Industry, innovation and infrastructure
      SDG12 Responsible consumption and production

      UKÄ Subject classification

      Computer Systems
      Agricultural Science

      Publication Identifiers


      Permanent link to this page (URI)