Global food and retail companies, including Nestlé, Unilever, and Walmart, have been collaborating with IBM’s to explore how blockchain technology can to improve traceability in their supply chains.
Last August, the testing of IBM blockchain track-and-trace solution, called IBM Food Trust, was began. The participating food companies are Dole, Driscoll’s, Golden State Foods, Kroger, McCormick and Company, McLane Company, Nestlé, Tyson Foods, Unilever, and Walmart.
The IBM Food Trust uses the IBM Blockchain Platform to connect companies through a permanent, and shared record of food origin details, processing data, shipping, and other details. In tests, IBM’s blockchain technology can track a product from the farm through every stage of the supply chain to the retail shelf in as fast as 2.2 seconds compared to days or weeks.
Frank Yiannas, VP of food safety for Walmart, said: “When it comes to food safety and traceability and resolving outbreaks, you have to be fast — and you have to be right.”
From the start of testing, there have been over 350,000 food data transactions on the platform. IBM notes that the use of blockchain technology can reduce the cost of the average product recall by up to 80%. General availability is expected to be announced later this year.