National Fisheries Institute, IBM Partner On Seafood Blockchain Traceability Pilot

Blockchain, News | June 17, 2019 By:

The National Fisheries Institute (NFI) will be conducting a blockchain traceability pilot program for seafood using IBM’s Food Trust network.

NFI is an industry trade group representing the seafood industry. Its member companies consist of all levels of business involved in seafood, from fishing vessel operators to seafood restaurants. The organization is committed to practices that preserve the proper management of the environments of the world’s ocean.

IBM Food Trust, which was launched in October 2018, uses blockchain technology to create unprecedented visibility and accountability in the food supply. IBM claims that it’s the only network of its kind to connect growers, processors, distributors, and retailers through a permissioned, permanent and shared record of food system data. The network has onboarded more than 50 brands across the food ecosystem, including Walmart, Carrefour, The Kroger Co., Driscoll’s, Dole, Golden State Foods, McCormick and Co., McLane Co., Nestlé, Tyson Foods and Unilever.

The seafood supply chain traceability pilot program, which is the first multi company and seafood species effort, involves participation from NFI members, including harvesters, importers, processors, cold storage, foodservice restaurants and retailers.

“We are excited that NFI and the real seafood value chain will test IBM’s technology,” said NFI President John Connelly. “NFI members’ supply chains are dynamic and wide reaching, a fertile ground for this type of pilot.”

Funded by the Seafood Industry Research Fund (SIRF), the program will use IBM’s system to ensure companies will be able to set rules about who can see the data they upload and for how long and that they maintain control of their data even after it has been uploaded to Food Trust. The goal is to help increase transparency, optimize supply chain processes and combat fraud.

“Traceability is nothing new to the seafood community but blockchain is,” said SIRF Chairman and Fortune Fish & Gourmet CEO Sean O’Scannlain. “Whether it’s farmed or wild, we will test how IBM’s Food Trust can help seafood businesses generate revenue and reduce costs, from harvest to distribution to our customers.”