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IBM, food giants form blockchain collaboration to trace food contamination

FBR Staff Writer Published 23 August 2017

Technology giant IBM has collaborated with food giants across the globe over a blockchain solution in an effort to reduce food borne illness and get rid of food contamination.

The consortium includes food companies Dole, Driscoll’s, Unilever, Walmart, Golden State Foods, Kroger, Nestle, Tyson Foods, McLane Company and McCormick and Company.

Every year about 400,000 people succumb to severe illness due to cross contamination and other food borne problems.

The IBM blockchain is formed to address the food borne challenges. With this food chain, growers, suppliers, processors, distributors, retailers, regulators and consumers can get acquainted with the information regarding the origin and state of food for their transactions.

This process will allow food providers to easily identify the contaminated product and remove it from the retail store within short time thereby ensuring the safety of the customers.

The group of food companies together will assist in identifying and prioritizing new areas in the food sector that can benefit the ecosystem and update new IBM solutions.

This new blockchain technology will draw on multiple IBM pilots and production networks in all related areas to demonstrate ways where blockchain can impact global food traceability in an optimistic way. 

IBM Blockchain general manager Marie Wieck said: “Our work with organizations across the food ecosystem, as well as IBM’s new platform, will further unleash the vast potential of this exciting technology, making it faster for organizations of all sizes and in all industries to move from concept to production to improve the way business gets done.”

Recently, IBM and Walmart have demonstrated about how the blockchain can be used to track a product from the farm through every stage of the supply chain until it reaches the retail store shelf within seconds instead of days or weeks.

Image: IBM Blockchain technology to improve food traceability by providing trusted information on the origin and state of food. Photo: Courtesy of ibmphoto24/flickr.