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Thailand: Blockchain for Sustainable Organic Food Supply Chains

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Khon Kaen University, through its Sustainable Social and Innovation Centre, International College, has partnered with the Programme Management Unit for Competitiveness (PMUC) under the National Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation Policy Council (NXPC) to launch the “Ugly Veggies Plus” research project. This initiative leverages retrospective technology and a low-carbon circulating economy to enhance the supply chain and export of organic food products.

Image credits: kku.ac.th

The “Ugly Veggies Plus” project, supported by PMUC, aims to accelerate the application of research and innovation to create high-value products and services. This endeavour is crucial for boosting national competitiveness and fostering a sustainable, low-carbon society. Dr Pongwipa Lorsomboon, Chairperson of the Sub-committee of the Circulating Economy at PMUC, emphasised that the project aligns with their mission to fund research that transforms entrepreneurs through technology and innovation.

A key objective of the “Ugly Veggies Plus” project is to develop a business model using Blockchain technology for retrospective checking of organic foods. This digital platform will be applied to various types of organic foods, including online organic vegetables, foods at organic restaurants, fresh organic foods in supermarkets, and manufactured organic foods in supermarkets. This initiative aims to enhance transparency and trust in the organic food supply chain, providing consumers with reliable information about the origins and quality of their food.

Assoc Prof Paninee Narutaradon, Director of the Sustainable Social and Innovation Centre, explained the project’s comprehensive approach, which includes developing degradable plastic bags, and fertilisers from organic vegetable wastes, and conducting an environmental impact study using the Blockchain digital platform. These innovations aim to provide significant technological and informational benefits to consumers, farmers, logistics suppliers, and business networks.

The project is a collaborative effort involving Khon Kaen University, Mahidol University, and several technological companies. Asst Prof Sirimonbhorn Thipsingh emphasised that the goal of the Sustainable Social and Innovation Centre is to drive global sustainability through education, research, innovation, and community development. The project supports the government’s BCG (Bio-Circular-Green) economy policy, integrating bio-economy, circular economy and academic knowledge to strengthen local, national, and international creative economies.

One of the standout features of the “Ugly Veggies Plus” project is its use of blockchain technology to track and verify the supply chain of organic food products. By implementing a digital platform for retrospective checking, the project aims to provide consumers with greater transparency and trust in the organic food market. This innovation not only enhances consumer confidence but also helps farmers and suppliers maintain high standards of quality and sustainability.

The project also involves developing eco-friendly products such as degradable plastic bags and organic fertilizers derived from vegetable waste. These initiatives align with the project’s low-carbon circulating economy model, aiming to reduce environmental impact and promote sustainable practices in agriculture and food production.

The collaboration with technology companies brings additional expertise and resources to the project. These companies have a strong track record in technology and innovation, further enhancing the project’s potential for success. The involvement of these technological partners underscores the project’s commitment to leveraging digital solutions for sustainable development.

Asst Prof Sirimonbhorn highlighted that the project’s ultimate goal is to empower communities and drive sustainable change through education, research, and innovation. By integrating academic knowledge with practical applications in business, the project aims to create a robust ecosystem that supports local and national economic growth.

The “Ugly Veggies Plus” project represents a significant step forward in utilising digital technology for sustainable supply chain management and organic food export. This project not only supports the government’s BCG economy policy but also sets a benchmark for future initiatives aimed at combining technology and sustainability for national development. Through continued collaboration and innovation, Khon Kaen University is leading the charge towards a greener, more digitally connected world.

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