Several of the largest food companies such as Nestlé, Unilever and Tyson Foods are collaborating with technology giant IBM to apply the benefits of blockchain technology to the food supply chain.
The blockchain – or distributed ledger technology – is a log of data maintained on a network of computers, rather than a physical ledger. This will enable to maintain secure digital records and improve the traceability of foodstuffs, like chicken, chocolate, and bananas.
IBM has been working on various blockchain projects in the last few months and Walmart has already run two blockchain experiments in partnership with IBM, with the first, nearly a year ago, to track shipments of pork in China.
Walmart’s vice president of food safety, Frank Yiannas said: “Blockchain technology enables a new era of end-to-end transparency in the global food system — equivalent to shining a light on food ecosystem participants that will further promote responsible actions and behaviours.
“It also allows all participants to share information rapidly and with confidence across a strong trusted network.”
Blockchain technology will simplify supply chains with automatic tracking of important information, such as temperature and quality of goods, shipment and delivery dates, and safety certifications of facilities.
“We’re asking companies to join to help evolve the solution and guide and steer its direction,” said Brigid McDermott, vice president of blockchain at IBM. “We’ll do proofs-on-concept later down the line.”
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