By Michael Scott
As blockchain technology continues its rapid push toward mass adoption, a development in the food industry is now raising eyebrows. When fully adopted, it will allow consumers to purchase and trade consumable goods in exchange for tokens.
The objective? To provide growers with a mechanism for increasing their sales while ensuring that buyers have greater access to fresh foods in their community.
This movement is being fueled by GroceryX, a blockchain-based startup that seeks to ensure that communities have their own local system of food distribution — one that avoids reliance on a massive transportation ecosystem or prevailing corporate practices that lead to tons of food being wasted.
Through use of Ethereum’s model, GroceryX is employing an ERC20 token allowing users to order food online and have it ready for pickup or delivery — directly from farm to table. Growers will have access to new distribution channels, displaying their items for sale in various communities.
While growers will enjoy access to new distribution channels, buyers can use the app to purchase on-demand food for any diet. Prices will be displayed in “FOOD” tokens and USD.
The value proposition of the GroceryX platform is considerable. For starters, it is seeking to localize food distribution and encourage healthy eating. The startup also endeavors to reduce fossil fuel emissions in the agricultural industry while mitigating brokerage fees and other auxiliary costs.
Local food growers will be able to register and set up special portals featuring their produce on GroceryX. All accounts are verified and rated to promote safety, ease of use and quality control.
In the feature interview below with founder Zachary Burks, he offers a glimpse at GroceryX’s evolution, its aims as well as its future outlook amid trends impacting the food industry.
What inspired you to launch GroceryX?
My passion to ensure a positive future for our planet is the strongest driving factor behind this project. So you shouldn't be shocked when you hear me say, I was thinking about our planet’s future when GroceryX hit me.
And the farming profession?
Yes, it has been dwindling over the years. We have lost more farmers, due to loss of profits and lessening returns on crop growths, than some sectors have seen from the worst recessions. Somehow we need a way to reclaim profits for farmers, while simultaneously rebuilding the industry in a manner that is economically sustainable and healthy for our planet’s ecosystem.
So what’s the main value proposition for GroceryX?
In short, GroceryX is a platform built for communities to have their own local system of food distribution. It’s a platform where farmers can regrow their profits and communities can prosper.
And how exactly will the food tokens be used?
The total amount of tokens will be stored in the offline wallets, and tokens will be representative of the blockchain amount on our users’ accounts. Once users withdraw their FOOD tokens, either by transferring to an exchange/wallet or selling back to GroceryX for a fiat check, the tokens will be moved from the blockchain address. This way we can prevent congestion on the blockchain network.
And how does it benefit consumers as well as the overall food distribution ecosystem?
GroceryX is the new way to get food. Just as Uber is the new way to get a ride and Amazon is the new way to shop, so too will GroceryX be the new way to get food. We will be providing users with a free stipend of FOOD tokens every month. Our plan is to help people who are in need the most.
Also, as more users hear about our program, it will encourage more downloads of our app. We have over 400 million tokens to give away and, at current simulations, can provide free food to over 5 million users.
Could you give us a practical example of how all of this will work?
Imagine using the GroceryX app to find sellers in your area (down the street, a mile away, up to 10 miles, etc.) that all have food for sale. Some may sell tomatoes and squash, some may sell brownies and cakes, some may sell vegan dinners and candies. All of them will be local and accessible easily.
Which means, Alice can now get dinner by using our app, by simply walking down the street and socializing with her neighbor. Even better for Alice, she is given free tokens every month, so a part of this meal was paid for by GroceryX. Finally, the best part of all, is that if Bob wants to sell his tomatoes to Alice, he can then turn around to use those tokens to buy, say, a watermelon. Bob just turned his tomatoes he would have normally wasted into a watermelon he would have had to pay for.
So what is your long-term hope and vision for GroceryX?
I envision that GroceryX will be the new standard for gathering food. I see a future where everyday consumers will only go to the grocery store once or twice a month, because the majority of their food can be obtained via our platform.
Moreover, farmers markets could implement GroceryX as the standard payment system to handle transactions between buyers and sellers. Furthermore, our platform serves as a decentralized bartering system, functioning as a type of omnipresent farmers market, empowering the sellers to set their own prices. Users can use their tokens to get the food they normally would be paying for, and farmers can cash out or buy lunch, all from selling the same vegetables.
Creating a local ecosystem of food distribution that is equally healthy and profitable for every user is the ultimate end goal.