The IBM blockchain for tracking food products has been given a huge boost with the addition of a major retail outlet. Carrefour operates in over 33 countries with over 12,000 stores and intends to use the IBM blockchain to track its brand of food products in France, Spain, and Brazil. The network is known as the IBM Food Trust Platform. It is the largest commercial blockchain in production according to an IBM spokesperson and the first of its kind in the food industry.
Carrefour joins the IBM Food Trust Platform
The IBM Food Trust was commercially launched on the 8th of October and requires a subscription fee between USD 100 and USD 10,000. It is available for both SMEs and large-scale food companies. Carrefour is not the only major retailer to sign up for the IBM Food Trust Platform. Other notable names in on the blockchain besides Carrefour include Walmart, Nestle, Dole Food, Tyson Foods, Kroger and Unilever. Walmart is already using the IBM blockchain to track leafy greens after a previous outbreak which forced all products to be recalled. Other international outlets are also using blockchain to track food items including JD.com, Cargill, Alibaba, and CBH Group.
The IBM blockchain goes lives after 18 months of testing. While the focus is on food tracking and traceability, the IBM Food Trust Platform will additionally try to reduce waste as much as possible. Through the use of the IBM blockchain, there will be a uniform record to track all activity from growers to processors to store to consumer with all origins, details, and shipping information.
DLT in the food industry
Blockchain can help to rectify many of the current problems inherent in food quality and logistics. It is no secret that there are an increasing amount of toxins present in modern day produce and that there is no way to check the accuracy of common labels such as ‘organic’ and ‘free range.’ In the beef industry, in particular, people are becoming more concerned about how bovines are treated and processed, and where the beef originates from.
In the UK, the food safety authority (FSA) has already successfully trialed blockchain in the meat industry. The press release indicated that increased transparency was brought inside the unnamed slaughterhouse. According to the FSA head of information –
“Our approach has been to develop data standards with industry that will make theory reality and I’m delighted that we’ve been able to show that blockchain does indeed work in this part of the food industry.”
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