Blockchain (BCT) is a relatively new digital technology that could revolutionize the functioning of agri-food supply chains. This technology provides for the possibility to store information on transactions and products in a decentralized and scattered database that is tamperproof and not open to changes. The objective of the paper was to discuss the opportunities and challenges associated with the use of BCT in agri-food supply chains in the areas related to ensuring the safety and quality of food products. While assessing the potential of this technology, there were considered both the applications described in the reference literature and the effects of the selected pilot and demonstration projects, in which the BCTbased solutions and applications were tested. The analysis performed makes it possible to draw a conclusion that BCT can play a positive role in ensuring food safety and quality. The asic benefit of using this technology is the increased transparency of agri-food supply chain functioning. The BCT- based applications enable to improve the efficiency of tracking, tracing, and identifying agri-food products in the supply chain. As a result, the number of food adulteration cases could be reduced as well as the number of cases of unauthorized use of food quality certificates. However, there are also certain risks and problems associated with the use of BCT. BCT has not yet reached its full technological maturity – the scalability of BCT may prove to be a problem in more developed and complex supply chains involving multi-component products. Also, social, economic, legal, and financial barriers should be pointed out for they might have adverse effects on the prospects for the wider use of BCT in agri-food supply chains. Therefore, though the agri-food enterprises are more and more interested in practical use of BCT, the implementation of BCT in agri-food supply chains is likely to be relatively slow.
agri-food supply chains, food safety, food quality, Blockchain (BCT) technology