At this year’s World Blockchain Forum, a two-day conference held at Dubai’s Madinat Jumeirah, blockchain startups from throughout have gathered to discuss crypto-infused businesses that promise to do more than disrupt industries and make money for their investors. Some entrepreneurs are confident their business models and technology will also fix some fundamental problems including world hunger.
“Most people only think of blockchain as the driving force behind cryptocurrency like Bitcoin. But this technology has so much more potential beyond the financial sector. In fact, we believe it will help retailers dramatically reduce their waste and, with the billions saved, feed millions of people who might otherwise go hungry,” said Alex Zdrilko, COO of OSA DC, an AI-driven platform that collects and analyzes data from retailers. Zdrilko will give a presentation about his company’s business model to investors and fellow crypto-entrepreneurs during an afternoon presentation in the main speaking hall at the forum (starting time 1:00PM). His pitch – an argument many industry experts agree with – is that blockchain will bring about a tectonic shift in how every industry addresses its inefficiencies and how every nation addresses recurring problems with their citizens, including crime, poverty, and hunger.
Because of the absolute transparency, increased security measures, and incorruptibility of data stored in the distributed ledger of a blockchain, the retail-focused OSA DC platform promises to save the retail industry at least $100 billion is lost product waste (food products that surpass their “sold by” date and have to be discarded. Zdrilko contents the AI-powered brain of the OSA DC platform, with monitor when perishable food products throughout a store’s chain are approaching their expiration date and automatically implement a system wide discount of the products to minimize product waste. Then before a perishable food passes its expiration date, if it is still not sold, it can be donated to local shelters and food programs for the poor and malnourished. “Imagine, with blockchain technology, not a single bottle of milk, head of lettuce, or loaf of bread will ever be thrown away,” said Zdrilko. “All it takes is a store and their partner on their supply chain to embrace this amazing transparent, efficient and intelligent technology.
Besides helping stores save more than 100 billion in lost product waste, Zdrilko also promises that blockchain technology will help retailers save an additional 400 billion dollars lost every year because of out-of-stock problems most retailers struggle with every day – the always-fluctuating challenge of ensuring that supply keeps up with demand in every store. By managing inventory with an intelligent agent like the AI-powered brain behind the OSA DC platform, stores will ensure a product is never “out of stock”. The platform will also empower retail customers with data never previously-available to them in their neighborhood grocery store, including where a product was made or processed, what preservatives, if any, were added, and, besides its expiration date, consumers will know every bit of data about its ingredients and nutritional content.
A recent report published by the World Economic Forum (WEF) titled, “Innovation with a purpose: the role of technology innovation in accelerating food systems transformation”, summarized inefficiencies in food distribution, including that nearly one-third of global food production, which is roughly 1.3 billion tons of food, that is lost along the supply chain or wasted by consumers and retailers every year. The report concludes that emerging technologies can play a fundamental role in making the entire food chain more efficient, from farms to retailers and finally to consumers. Alex Zdrilko of OSA DC believes his company will fill this growing need in the food industry, saving retailers billions and using blockchain as a weapon in the war on hunger.