FruitChain Revolution? - Trustworthiness of information along the physical fruit supply chain for Swedish actors importing fresh fruit from outside Europe and how Blockchain provides potential solutions
Abstract: Background Trust has been considered the foundation for trade and business relationships for centuries, especially in complex and fragmented Supply Chains. Blockchain technology claims to enable trustless transactions, which can benefit actors who do not trust the Supply Chain information they receive. In this case, the research revolves around the fragmented and highly fragile Fruit Supply Chain from outside Europe to Sweden. What kind of trust-related issues do Swedish fresh fruit importers perceive to have and how does blockchain offer potential usage to overcome these issues? Methodology Due to the low level of research within the field of blockchain technology in a Supply Chain context, the study takes an exploratory research approach. Therefore, the main trust-related Supply Chain challenges are identified through literature as well as qualitative semi-structured interviews with Swedish importers of non-European fruit. Further, the potential usage of blockchain to solve the identified trust-related challenges are discussed through qualitative semi-structured interviews with blockchain experts to develop an understanding of the practical benefits of blockchain. Results & Conclusion The study found divergent perceptions of trust-related challenges along Swedish Fruit Supply Chains amongst importers, experts and literature. From the importers’ perspective, challenges exist at the point of origin, but are perceived to be limited upstream the Supply Chains. Experts claim that the highly fragmented and non-digital structure of Swedish Fruit Supply Chains limit the potential usage of blockchain technology. Nevertheless, experts and literature emphasize beneficial impacts of blockchain in a Fruit Supply Chain context, once Supply Chains are digitalized and trust regarding the initial data input can be established.
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