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A Data-Driven Blockchain-Based Marketplace To Promote Transparency and Accountability In City-Region Food Systems
In the last ten years, several new challenges have emerged regarding food: from the production crisis caused by wars and the climate change to the unsustainable food waste in the occidental societies or the health problems associated to processed food, additives and other equivalent substances. Resilient and sustainable food systems are needed to survive against all these risks. The Food and Agriculture Organization has envisioned that this only would be possible if we put together large urban centers, the conglomeration of smaller cities in their surrounds and the surrounding and interspersed peri-urban and rural hinterland in a unique City-Region Food System (CRFS). CRFS, however, will be only an opportunity if all food agents in the area collaborate together as part of the same network. This collaboration must overcome the potential conflict of interest and the lack of trust among the different agents, so transparency and accountability must be improved in all transactions. Therefore, in this paper we describe a data-driven blockchain-based marketplace where food agents in a CRFS can share and get transparent and accountable information about other industries, users, or producers in the region. To motivate food agents to join the platform, information in the marketplace is not free and consumers must pay a fee before getting it, generating new income flow for participants. The system is supported by Ethereum network and web technologies. An initial experience was carried out to validate the proposed marketplace in the context of a CRFS living lab in Spain.