Over the last decade, transparency schemes have started to undergo a radical transformation. This transformation is driven by advancements in cloud computing, cryptography and automated measurement technology, which have made it possible to develop shared information management systems (SIMS). These SIMS form the backbone of the latest, state-of-the-art in the transparency space: hyper-transparency schemes. These new transparency schemes and associated SIMS offer companies, both small and large, the opportunity to redesign their supply chains and to establish more direct relationships with their second- and third-tier trading partners, as well as with the consumer. However, the companies also face various challenges in implementing and operating such hyper-transparency schemes. There are legitimate concerns about privacy, ownership and access to data and, related to this, who controls the SIMS. The present paper discusses the ongoing development of a SIMS. The objective of this SIMS is to: (1), help empower smallholders in agri-food supply chains to establish more direct connections with the consumer; and (2), help empower consumers to get more direct insight into the manner in which their food stuff is being produced. The paper presents the design of the SIMS and discusses its transdisciplinary development processes.
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