Solving the problem of food quality

08.03.2018   Anton Bondarenko

We believe that the problem of the quality of food in Ukraine is very serious. Therefore, we took up a tool called ChesnoQ.

First of all, the peculiarity of Ukraine is that our “vertical” methods of control are extremely shaky and almost do not work. If we frankly and honestly admit it, then, on the one hand, we feel a little sad about the feeling of powerlessness and the lack of help in this direction on the part of state bodies.

On the other hand, the awareness of this situation, the acceptance of the fact that we are still a “third world country”, that the state should not wait for a decision, opens up completely new opportunities. And here we are talking about “horizontal” methods of control - when people themselves are actively involved in monitoring and improving the quality of products and services.

Secondly, when it comes to “horizontal” (decentralized, distributed) control methods, many of us will recall the concept of “blockchain”. Yes, we ourselves understood a lot in this direction, but all the “blockchain” projects in the field of agriculture and food offer us to wait another 1-2 years, and for us it was important to be able to launch our solution right now!

Initially, we have divided the problem of quality control into 3 parts:

The first is to track all product data, all people involved in the supply chain of this product, including end users and the conditions of each transaction (time of purchase) of the product.

For this purpose, we used 12-digit tags and private keys (almost like in the “blockchain”) and a QR code, which we can use both in paper form (stickers) and purely in electronic form (from the screen of a smartphone or other devices).

Our tool allows using both larger suppliers (tens of thousands of stickers can be generated for them) and small sellers on the market (they can generate a “QR code” for the next bunch of parsley right there before the moment of sale).

In addition, we have developed the possibility of including in the chain of a single product a chain of ingredients of which this product consists. For example, you can buy a roll with falafel (there is such a popular dish), track manufacturers and other information about pita bread, falafel, pickled cucumbers, lettuce and hummus, which are included in this same roll.

The second is getting product feedback. Here we are talking about the possibility of end users and all other participants to complain about the discrepancy of quality. And our system will accept all possible complaints for consideration and analysis. And also we laid the possibility of the participation of independent quality checks. To do this, we have a special status in the instrument, which we are ready to give to people who are specially trained and have the necessary equipment. In addition, we expect that independent checks will be financed from 1-2% of the money that will be deducted from each payment by the final consumer for the products. It is something like insurance - you pay a little each time to increase your overall security.

The third is the response to the problems found. Of course, data on producers and other participants in the supply chain, who systematically do not comply with the quality of food, our system will transmit to the appropriate government agencies.

But the main feature of the “horizontal” system is that the “bad guys” deteriorate their reputation and other people, quickly and simply tracking it, try to deal less with these “bad guys”. As a result, no one wants to be a “bad guy” and everyone tries not to tinker and not do deliberately bad things. This is how the quality of food gradually rises.

At the same time, the active participation of ordinary consumers and all other participants in the food supply chain is crucial. With this “horizontal” approach, they will have to become more interactive in their assessment to identify the “bad guys”.

And in conclusion, we want to answer your question: why manufacturers and suppliers will want to use this tool? How do you incline them to this?

We believe that this tool will first of all be in demand by local, small food producers who supply healthy products. And it is the development of the market of local producers - this is a step towards high-quality, affordable products.

Well, and end-users should gradually begin to select sellers and manufacturers using our quality control tool.