IBM Food Trust expands blockchain network to include Carrefour

October 08, 2018
Chris Wheal

IBM has announced the general availability of its Food Trust blockchain network and that it has been expanded to include European supermarket giant Carrefour.

IBM Food Trust will enable greater traceability, transparency and efficiency in the food ecosystem

The aim of IBM Food Trust, the blockchain-based cloud network that offers participating retailers, suppliers, growers and food industry providers with data from across the food ecosystem, is to enable greater traceability, transparency and efficiency.

The network is now generally available after 18 months in testing, during which millions of individual food products have been tracked by retailers and suppliers.

It means that large players, as well as small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the food industry supply chain, can now join the network for a subscription fee ranging from $100 to $10,000 a month.

As one of the world’s leading retailers with more than 12,000 stores in 33 countries, Carrefour stores will initially use the solution to highlight consumers’ confidence in a number of Carrefour-branded products. As a commitment of the retailer’s Act for Food program, the solution is expected to expand to all Carrefour brands worldwide by 2022.

“Being a founding member of the IBM Food Trust platform is a great opportunity for Carrefour to accelerate and widen the integration of blockchain technology to our products in order to provide our clients with safe and undoubted traceability,” said Laurent Vallée, general secretary of Carrefour. “This is a decisive step in the roll-out of Act for Food, our global program of concrete initiatives in favor of the food transition.”

Using blockchain for trusted transactions, food can be quickly traced back to its source in as little as a few seconds instead of days or weeks. Unlike traditional databases, the attributes of blockchain and the ability to permission data, enables network members to gain a new level of trusted information. Transactions are endorsed by multiple parties, leading to an immutable single version of the truth.

Bridget van Kralingen, senior vice president, IBM Global Industries, Clients, Platforms and Blockchain, said: “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.”

Beyond the goal of making food safer, the IBM Food Trust network and accompanying solutions have expanded to focus on optimizing the food supply. This includes generating insights on product freshness, reducing waste and making the supply chain more collaborative and transparent.

IBM is working with services and technology providers to contribute important supply chain, provenance, testing and sensor data to the blockchain ecosystem. Through a library of IBM Food Trust APIs, hardware, software and technology companies can write transaction data directly onto the blockchain network to provide valuable insights.

Others companies to sign up for IBM Food Trust are Nestle, Walmart, Dole Food, Tyson Foods, Kroger and Unilever.

 

Post written by Chris Wheal
Chris Wheal is editor of OpenLedger's news and features service. An award-wining business journalists himself, he runs a team of freelance journalists from across the UK and north America.

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