Dole, Driscoll’s, Golden State Foods, Kroger, McCormick and Company, McLane Company, Nestlé, Tyson Foods, Unilever, and Walmart have partnered with IBM on a blockchain initiative to boost the safety of the food supply chain, the technology company announced Tuesday.
Blockchain is a digital ledger system that has the potential to provide the type of supply chain transparency that both consumers and regulatory agencies want to see. The ledger can track food products through the supply chain so that, for example, it wouldn’t take two weeks to trace the source of Salmonella contamination in papayas.
IBM notes in the press release:
“Blockchain is ideally suited to help address these challenges because it establishes a trusted environment for all transactions. In the case of the global food supply chain, all participants – growers, suppliers, processors, distributors, retailers, regulators and consumers – can gain permissioned access to known and trusted information regarding the origin and state of food for their transactions. This can enable food providers and other members of the ecosystem to use a blockchain network to trace contaminated product to its source in a short amount of time to ensure safe removal from store shelves and stem the spread of illnesses.”
IBM also announced its new blockchain platform, which allows companies to develop their own blockchain applications, as well as academic partnerships to help students develop blockchain skills.