IBM has announced that its blockchain-based food supply chain network, IBM Food Trust, is now generally available after 18 months of testing.
The network allows participants in the food supply chain, including farmers, suppliers and retailers, to share food origin details, processing data and shipping information on a permissioned blockchain network.
During the trial period, the network helped some of the world’s biggest retailers and suppliers track millions of individual food products.
According to IBM, members of its network were pioneered a comprehensive governance model for the network to help ensure that the rights and information of all participants will be managed and protected appropriately.
Supply chain participants can track food produce with greater efficiency and transparency than they could with traditional databases by tracing it back to its source in as little as a few seconds instead of days or weeks.
Bridget van Kralingen, Senior Vice-President of IBM Global Industries, Clients and Blockchain, commented: “The currency of trust today is transparency and achieving it in the area of food safety happens when responsibility is shared.
“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.”
Ed Treacy, Vice President of Supply Chain Efficiencies at the Produce Marketing Association, also said: “Blockchain holds the potential to help us be more transparent and transform how the food industry works by speeding up investigations into contaminated food, authenticating the origin of food, and providing insights about the conditions and pathway the food travelled to identify opportunities to maximize shelf life and reduce losses due to spoilage.”