We are witnessing the rise of a technological revolution that will fundamentally alter the way we live, work, and relate to one another in the form of Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). The basic commodity of the 4IR is data which can be collected everywhere in the halal supply chain; on farms, on food production lines, on check-out lines in supermarkets and finally on consumers table. With so many potentials and opportunities discussed on 4IR, it is important for us to ask the fundamental question: How can 4IR influence and benefits the halal industry?
One area of 4IR that can benefit halal operations are the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). IIoT, an extension to IoT can revolutionise halal industry by enabling the acquisition and accessibility of far greater amounts of data, at far greater speeds, and far more efficiently than before. With IIoT, the digitisation of halal supply chain, from farms to warehousing to food distribution and retailing, enables halal producers and regulators to leverage technologies that monitor and analyse the entirety of the process. IIoT has the potential to address various halal industry challenges, including product quality, timeliness of delivery, waste, spoilage, and recalls. Leveraging sensor technologies and real-time data analytics has allowed manufacturers to precisely monitor incoming ingredients through the adoption of track and trace techniques.
Blockchain, is another technology in the 4IR that can influence the halal industry. Blockchain, the tamper-proof, cryptography-based record-keeping system behind Bitcoin and other cyber-currencies, can be used to ensure the halal integrity of the global food safety distribution chain. If implemented carefully, halal authority can issue halal certificate with blockchain technology that can includes production and distribution records by halal producers. Blockchained halal certificate cannot be falsified without leaving an evidentiary trail, which allows halal producers and regulators to quickly trace products back to their source, allowing for fast recall and removal in case of contamination or fraud.
Another interesting 4IR technology that can benefit halal operations are smart logistics. The main objective of smart logistics is to ensure halal products are stored and moved safely and efficiently. With the right combination of technology, smart logistics can improve halal traceability, efficient route planning, and better connectivity, helping to ensure that halal retailers and consumers are confident in the safety and quality of their products. Recently, TESLA announced the Autonomous Semi Truck that will change the landscape of food industry. According to the study by McKinsey, huge economic gains between $100 to $500 billion per year by 2025 can be achieved from driverless vehicles in the U.S. trucking industry. The bulk of this windfall will come from the elimination of truck drivers and their wages. We’re already witnessing the digitisation of package delivery systems with drones and UberEats, but the effects will become more prevalence in halal industry when autonomous vehicles are the norm.