On August 22, 2017, IBM announced its formation of a blockchain alliance with major companies to use new technology to promote food safety.
The group includes Dole, Driscoll’s, Golden State Foods, Kroger, McCormick and Company, McLane Company, Nestlé, Tyson Foods, Unilever, and Walmart. Together with IBM, these companies will work to leverage the capability of blockchain technology to provide best practices for food supply chains, and prevent contamination that can harm consumers.
According to the announcement, blockchain-based technology 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.”
IBM and Walmart have worked together since 2016 when the two companies performed a test with blockchain technology to track food origins, specifically, for pork products in China. Building on this pilot test, the inclusion of additional companies will allow for more dynamic development of supply chain solutions.
Jeremy Nation is a writer living in Los Angeles with interests in technology, human rights, and cuisine. He is a full time staff writer for ETHNews and holds value in Ether.