IBM’s Food Blockchain Network Goes Livebr>
Tech giant IBM has announced that its blockchain food supply chain network – IBM Food Trust – is now commercially available after 18 months of testing.
First announced in June 2017, the IBM Food Trust is designed to enable organizations in the food industry to run their businesses more effectively and provide safer food at lower costs. It provides companies with instant access to data regarding the origin of food products. Beyond the goal of making food safer, the network and accompanying solutions have expanded to focus on optimizing the food supply, including generating insights on product freshness, reducing waste and making the supply chain more collaborative and transparent.
During the network’s testing phase, IBM said millions of individual food products have been tracked by retailers and suppliers. Participants in the testing phase include Walmart, Unilever, Dole, and Nestlé. The commercial launch of IBM Food Trust means that large companies and small and medium-size enterprises (SME) can now join the network. Participants can select from three software-as-a-service modules with pricing that is scaled for small, medium and global enterprises, beginning at $100 per month. Suppliers can also contribute data to the network at no cost.
“The currency of trust today is transparency and achieving it in the area of food safety happens when responsibility is shared,” Bridget van Kralingen, senior vice president, IBM Global Industries, Clients, Platforms and Blockchain. “That collaborative approach is how the members of IBM Food Trust have shown blockchain can strengthen transparency and drive meaningful enhancements to food traceability. Ultimately that provides business benefits for participants and a better and safer product for consumers.”
IBM also announced that Carrefour, a global retailer with more than 12,000 stores in 33 countries, will use the IBM Food Trust blockchain network to strengthen their food excellence actions. It will initially use the solution to highlight its private label products and tracking, and then expand to all Carrefour brands worldwide by 2022.
“Being a founding member of the IBM Food Trust platform is a great opportunity for Carrefour to accelerate and widen the integration of blockchain technology to our products in order to provide our clients with safe and undoubted traceability,” said Laurent Vallée, general secretary of Carrefour. “This is a decisive step in the roll-out of Act for Food, our global program of concrete initiatives in favor of the food transition.”
In addition to Carrefour, organizations joining IBM Food Trust include Topco Associates, a co-op that represents 49 members, Wakefern, a retailer-owned cooperative representing 50 member companies and 349 stores, and suppliers including BeefChain, Dennick Fruit Source, Scoular and Smithfield.