IBM Launches Food Tracking Blockchain
The American technology giant International Business Machines Corporation – more popularly known as IBM Corp. – has officially launched a new Blockchain based food tracking platform called Food Trust.
IBM Food Trust
IBM first announced the development of the Food Trust two years ago in 2016, describing it as a solution that would connect different parties of the food supply chain on one single platform.
The product has been rigorously tested for a period of 18 months before being made available for commercial use by wholesalers, suppliers and retailers across the food industry.
The Food Trust’s trial period began in August of 2017 and in this time, IBM partnered with some of the biggest names in the food industry such as Dole Food Co., Nestle SA, Driscoll’s Inc., Kroger Co., Golden State Foods, McLane Co., McCormick and Co., Unilever NV and Tyson Foods Inc.
However, the first company to join hands with IBM to test this network was Walmart, using the Food Trust blockchain in 2016 to recall food that customers had complaints about.
The company stated that during the testing period, the participating companies tested the Blockchain by tracking millions of food products through the Food Trust network.
The first group of early adopters of the new Blockchain solution-as-a-service include the French retail giant Carrefour, cooperatives Topco Associates and Wakefern, as well as suppliers BeefChain, Dennick Fruit Source and Smithfield.
Carrefour, which boasts over 12,000 retail stores across 33 countries, says that is going to use IBM Food Trust to focus on its private label products, to track them and then use the system to expand globally by 2022.
The world’s biggest retailer, Walmart also announced that it was going to ask its suppliers for leafy green vegetables to use the Foot Trust network to implement a farm-to-store tracking system.
Going Beyond the Crypto Hype – Real World Uses
While the IBM Food Trust originally started out as a platform to focus on food safety, its mandate has grown to include food wastage, efficiency in the supply chain and analytics using various technologies such as big data, the Internet of Things and automation.
This new Blockchain is one-of-a-kind, since it is one of the few times that a network has been fully deployed at such a massive scale. By launching this platform, IBM is proving that there are real world uses for the new technology over and above cryptocurrency speculation and trading.