IBM Blockchain Technology Is Growing In The Food Industry During Covid-19
IB IBMM and Kvarøy Arctic, a large producer of Norwegian farmed salmon to stores like Whole Foods, announced today that they would join IBM’s blockchain-based Food Trust. Mislabeling and fraud is a rampant problem for food retailers. Food Trust’s mission is to supply reliable data and product origin to users of their blockchain network, and members are signing-up.
Espen Braathe, IBM’s Food Trust European Leader, said, “When there is a premium price in food, the premium for fraud grows.” A seafood watchdog, Oceana.org, stated in a recent study that one in three seafood products is mislabeled nationwide. You think you are buying salmon, but what is on your plate could be much different. And the consumer pays the price.
IBM started Food Trust back in October 2018, with 11 foundational members supporting its blockchain, Walmart WMT, Dole, and Nestlé to the name three. In June 2020, there are about 300 suppliers and buyers on the network with 6 million packed food products on store shelves.
There are thousands of farmers and suppliers not on Food Trust. But in three years the momentum has picked up. The need for trust is no joke: as the recent example of price fixing in the Chicken industry suggests that believing data from your suppliers has always been a problem.
“Kvarøy Arctic is enabling corporate buyers, including select Whole Foods Market stores in the U.S. and Canada, and restaurants to scan a QR code which will provide a provenance history for the Arctic salmon and the feed it was raised on. They will also be able to download images and videos of the farms and see for themselves the conditions and animal welfare standards that Kvarøy Arctic upholds.”
During Covid-19, Kvarøy Arctic reported that they experienced an increase in demand for fresh seafood in the U.S., shipping twice the volume anticipated. IBM said that by joining Food Trust, an ecosystem of food producers, distributors, manufacturers, and retailers collaborating by using permanent and shared food records stored on its blockchain – can help meet the demand.
Blockchain has the potential to build trust in the supply chain by creating a permanent, digitized chain of transactions that cannot be altered. The goal being producers like feed manufacturers, fish farmers, distributors and retailers can all access comprehensive product data in near real-time.
“Blockchain is the future when it comes to ending fraud in the seafood industry. It is a level of transparency that shows our dedication to being the best of the best,” said Kvarøy Arctic CEO Alf-Gøran Knutsen. “The technology tracks a level of detail that helps us reduce food waste so we can feed more people in the world.”