Over the past year, a group of top global retailers and food companies have been working with IBM on testing blockchain technology to improve traceability in their supply chains. The companies include Nestlé, Unilever, and Walmart.
According to Marie Wieck, general manager, IBM Blockchain:
Unlike any technology before it, blockchain is transforming the way like-minded organizations come together and enabling a new level of trust based on a single view of the truth
Additionally Frank Yiannas, VP of Food Safety for Walmart mentioned:
“When it comes to food safety and traceability and resolving outbreaks, you have to be fast — and you have to be right”
Danigelis reports that:
"In tests, IBM’s blockchain technology can track a product from the farm through every stage of the supply chain to the retail shelf in as fast as 2.2 seconds compared to days or weeks."
Food recalls can diminish consumer confidence and lead to lost sales, the theory is that having partners and competitors share a single record-keeping system can speed up investigations of bad food and make recalls more accurate and less expensive.
The power of blockchain in the upstream and downstream supply chain is beginning to become palpable. In fact, Nestle used a popular variety of its Gerber line for its blockchain test.
Chris Tyas, Global Head of Supply Chain commented on the initiative saying:
The baby food experiments involve multiple ingredients and some cross-border transactions. In one test, Nestlé is working with farmers and processors of apples, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin. In another, the partner is a mango provider in Colombia.
Danigelis concludes that:
Since IBM Food Trust began, there have been over 350,000 food data transactions on the platform. “These items represent dozens of individual food items, from vegetables, meats, to spices, fruits and more, and now fresh water fish fillets,” Forbes reported this summer. “IBM notes that the use of blockchain technology can reduce the cost of the average product recall by up to 80%.”
Reality Changing Observations:
Q1. Have you ever experienced a foodborne illness?
Q2. How do you believe blockchain in our food supply will affect the market?
Q3. Are you already using an application to check the hazards of the products you use?