IoT blockchain to strengthen global food traceability

Posted on 25 Aug 2017 by Jonny Williamson

Leading companies across the global food supply chain announced a major IoT blockchain collaboration with IBM intending to further strengthen consumer confidence in the global food system.

Blockchain, based on IoT technologies, can help to strengthen the food traceability – image courtesy of IBM.

Every year, 420,000 people die worldwide, due to contaminated food, and many of the critical issues impacting food safety are magnified by lack of access to IoT related information and traceability.

It can take weeks to identify the precise point of contamination, causing further illness, lost revenue and wasted product.

Blockchain, which is based on IoT technologies, 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 etc. can gain permissioned access to known and trusted information regarding the origin and state of food for their transactions.

This enables food providers 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.

Global food companies are now coming together with IBM to further champion blockchain as an enabling technology for the food sector, and together they will help identify and prioritize new areas where blockchain can benefit food ecosystems and inform new IBM solutions.

This work will draw on multiple IBM pilots and production networks in related areas that successfully demonstrate ways in which blockchain can positively impact global food traceability.

Marie Wieck, general manager of IBM blockchain, said: “Unlike any technology before it, blockchain is transforming the way like-minded organisations come together and enabling a new level of trust based on a single view of the truth.”

“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.”