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Alumni Spotlight: COMBATTING FOOD FRAUD WITH BLOCKCHAIN

Kristoffer Just works to apply blockchain technology in the fight against food fraud.

There have been a number of stories in recent years about contaminated and tainted food both here in Denmark and around the world. In fact, last Spring, through testing, the Ministry of Environment & Food of Denmark found out that just six of every 35 bottles of the extra virgin olive oil on Danish shelves fit the classification of extra virgin, which is the highest quality you can buy, as advertised.

From DIM Student to Start-up Project Coordinator

“It was during the course Process Innovation, that I had the opportunity to explore blockchain within food fraud,” Kristoffer Just says. “I investigated the current supply chain to then qualify a blockchain supply chain as a process innovation.”

This led to Kristoffer’s master thesis where he focused on the journey falsified bottles of extra virgin olive oil made on its way to Danish supermarket aisles and examined whether blockchain technology could prevent such food fraud as a means of contributing to the raising the level of traceability in our food products.

Upon obtaining his Master’s in Digital Innovation & Management, Kristoffer was able to leverage his passion and his research to land a job as Project Coordinator at the start-up, BLOC, Blockchain Labs for Open Collaboration, where he continues to pursue research opportunities in Digital Supply Chains and Food Systems.

Advice for Current ITU students

Kristoffer relies heavily on the competencies he learned throughout his time at ITU, including critical thinking and the use of digital tools, “I continue to use the data scrapping and visualization tools I learned about in Navigating Complexity as a part of my work.” Kristoffer shares, “But I also reflect on the technology that we are promoting and working on as well.”

He encourages students to engage, “with people from various backgrounds, both from other academic tracks at ITU, but also your classmates. You can learn more than you would think from listening to other people’s perspectives.”

The Start-Up Life

For students looking to jump into the deep end after graduation and pursue a career at a start-up like BLOC, Kristoffer suggests you prepare yourselves for the fast-paced nature of the start-up environment, “things can change dramatically over the course of a few hours, so if you work best within a sound structure, a start-up may not be the best environment for you.”

But for those willing to take the leap, “you will build a network very quickly through participation in in events and conferences, as well as the co-working spaces many Copenhagen-based start-up are located.”

This post is the first in series on ITU alumni and their work post-graduation.