Food retail giant Nestle located in Switzerland remarked that the Blockchain project of IBM food products will be prepared in 2019 for the suppliers and retailers; big retailers such as Walmart and Unilever are members of this project too.
One of the applications of Blockchain is tracking. Considering this capability, IBM company has developed a software on Blockchain to track food products from beginning manufacturing stages up to reaching the consumers. This system features security, newness, and availability of food products; moreover, it helps decrease of crops’ waste. IBM has claimed that its new platform can be employed at the companies with the income amounting to billions of dollars.
Benjamin Dubois, digital transformation manager of global supply chain at Nestle, was interviewed by the bilingual Swiss Heure 24 newspaper regarding this development. According to the reports, IBM Food Trust Blockchain plan started growing from 2016 with primary experiments.
Nestle, itself, has participated in testing this product since August 2017.
Based on Dubois saying, more transparency and trust of this plan is in responding to the consumers’ request. This project is recognized as an important and modern achievement in storing food products and can meet all the companies’ and consumers’ expectations. This technology dramatically facilitates tracking all products and stages of the supply chain, and each retailer maintains the option of sharing information with other partners to the extent they appoint. The information might include crops, processing, transportation and labeling the products and according to the published reports, they are tracked and tested in a matter of seconds.
According to this newspaper report, IBM Food Trust Blockchain platform offers a powerful tool for the retailers to make digital trust and manage data in a safe and decentralized technique.
In an interview with 24 Heures, Dubois said that while this plan is an ideal opportunity to offer maximum general knowledge related to to-be-consumed products, the consumers can be informed about the followings:
“the crop’s origin and composition, the farmers, taking part in exploiting the product, the time of its manufacture, the time the food is supplied, the identity of supervising enterprise, even the number of the employees working there and the type of ethical certificates the manufacturers have received.”
He continued stating that technical challenges of this plan, such as management of interoperability of data platforms will be discussed about in 2019; further, he told that he could not specify an exact date for extensive actualization of this innovation. According to the published reports, French consumers’ Federation has welcomed this project and stated that not being traceable and the high number of intermediaries were the impediments to identify the main responsible for the past food scandals in France.
This plan has been developed according to an organizational version of Ethereum Blockchain. Of course currently, IBM Blockchain-based technologies have some other applications. Many big organizations such as some banks use this system to process international bills.
Carrefour, a newly-founded French retail giant, has recently announced launching a food tracking platform called Hyperledger for its Spanish network. Carrefour company is among IBM Food Trust Blockchain plan members.