The French chain of stores, Carrefour, has engaged in the construction of the IBM Food Trust platform. It will use blockchain technology to facilitate the tracking of food products in the supply chain.
The aim of the cooperation between Carrefour and the IBM Food Trust is to implement a global standard for identifying food in all parts of the chain – from producers, through processing and packaging and ending with sales channels. Registering all events in the supply chain is easier with blockchain.
Collaboration between producers and distributors will ensure that relevant information on product safety is made available to consumers. From the point of view of the customer buying the food product, the novelty will be the QR code on the label. After scanning it with a smartphone, the buyer will receive information not only about the producer, but also about, for example, the place of cultivation or used breeding methods, and in the case of fruit and vegetables – the date on which they were planted. All this is to make consumers gain a clearer knowledge of what they buy and eat.
That’s why the members of the IBM Food Trust system are working together to develop a new solution – that all parties involved in the supply chain can guarantee product identification and quality,” says Cosme de Moucheron, IBM’s managing director responsible for working with the Carrefour group.
Trading giants increasingly use blockchain
The IBM Food Trust is a cloud-based blockchain network that provides food retailers, growers and food suppliers with data from the entire food system. After 18 months of testing, during which millions of food products were tracked by retailers and suppliers, the network is now widely available.
The system is still growing, because in addition to Carrefour, known in Europe, it also includes companies from the United States: the Topco Associates group (representing 49 members, with over 15,000 stores and 65 million customers a week), Wakefern (representing 50 member companies and 349 stores ), BeefChain, Dennick Fruit Source, Scoular and global pork production giant Smithfield.
The Carrefour network, which has 12,000 stores in 33 countries, will initially use the system to strengthen activities for food excellence.
Another commercial giant, Walmart, recently announced that it had committed its suppliers of fresh vegetables to register in the Food Trust system during the year. The American supermarket chain counts that by the end of September 2019, all its suppliers of fresh leafy vegetables will obtain through blockchain full identification of their products from the beginning to the end, that is from the farmland to the store shelf.
Blockchain has the potential to help us change the way the food industry operates, speeding up the tracking of contaminated food, authenticating the origin of food and providing insight into the conditions and path it passes, and to identify opportunities to maximize shelf life and reduce spoilage,” says Ed Treacy, vice president of supply chain performance at Produce Marketing Association.
Using blockchain, you can quickly trace the path of a food product from the source in just a few seconds. IBM Food Trust members have helped build a powerful global business solution that is based on open standards. It enables companies in the food industry to operate more efficiently and provide safer food at a lower cost.
IBM Food Trust compatible with GS1
The IBM Food Trust action model is based on the same set of rules being followed by each participant. Companies and organizations that send data are still their owners. And the owner is the one who can allow viewing or sharing data. The creators of the network took care of important technical issues, such as such as data entry, operational compatibility, security and hardware requirements, a consistent way of data standardization. The IBM Food Trust is also compatible with the GS1 standard used by a large part of the food industry.
The use of the network is available for both large, medium and small businesses, which is enabled by the appropriate software modules. The costs are scaled and start at $100 a month.