IBM’s project to explore blockchain technology to track food supply and improve safety has some new big-name partners, including Nestle, Unilever and Tyson Foods among others.
In a press release Tuesday (Aug. 22) IBM announced the blockchain collaboration, saying the new partners are aimed at further strengthening consumer confidence in the global food system. The consortium includes Dole, Driscoll’s, Golden State Foods, Kroger, McCormick and Co., McLane Company, Nestle, Tyson Foods, Unilever and Walmart, who will work with IBM to identify new areas where the global supply chain can benefit from blockchain.
“Unlike any technology before it, blockchain is transforming the way like-minded organizations come together and enabling a new level of trust based on a single view of the truth,” said Marie Wieck, general manager of IBM Blockchain, in a press release announcing the collaboration. “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.”
The food companies will work with IBM to explore how blockchain technology can be used to make the food supply chain safer. Blockchain technology can be used to improve food traceability by providing trusted information on the origin and state of food, IBM said in the release, noting that each year one in 10 people fall ill and 400,000 die because of contaminated food. IBM said many of the issues that hurt food safety are caused by a lack of access to information and traceability. IBM said it can take weeks to identity the exact point of contamination, which in turn causes further illnesses and lost revenue. Together the group will help identify and prioritize new areas where blockchain can benefit food ecosystems and inform new IBM solutions.