Albertsons Companies, one of the largest food and drug retailers in the United States, is joining the blockchain-based IBM Food Trust network and will begin piloting the technology to improve how food is traced from farm to store shelf. The addition of Albertsons Companies to the Food Trust ecosystem of more than 80 brands brings blockchain-based food traceability to more consumers and industry players from producers to suppliers to retailers ,by helping enable greater transparency and collaboration, and ultimately, a safer food supply.
. Food Trust enables network members to share digital, distributed and immutable data, so that stakeholders across the supply chain can work together to trace and authenticate products or optimize supply chain processes. The solution creates a digital record of transactions or interactions – from a packaging date, to the temperature at which an item was shipped, to its arrival on a grocery shelf.
Albertsons Companies, which operates nearly 2,300 stores across the U.S., will pilot Food Trust for tracing bulk romaine lettuce from one of its distribution centers, then will explore expanding to other food categories throughout its distribution network. Albertsons Companies plans to pilot the solution to help overcome the obstacles that have existed when a traceback is initiated for a product like romaine and is evaluating ways to use the technology to highlight the provenance of its extensive Own Brands portfolio.
“Blockchain technology has the potential to be transformational for us as we further build differentiation on our fresh brand,” said Anuj Dhanda, Chief Information Officer, Albertsons Companies. “Food safety is a very significant step. In addition, the provenance of the products enabled by blockchain — the ability to track every move from the farm to the customer’s basket — can be very empowering for our customers.”
“Establishing IBM Food Trust and opening it to the food ecosystem last year was a major milestone in making blockchain real for business,” said Raj Rao, General Manager, IBM Food Trust. “Today, we are focused on ensuring that the solution scales and is accessible to participants across the food ecosystem, such as Albertsons Companies. By bringing more members into the network and enabling them to share greater cross-sections of data in a secured environment, we believe our vision of a transformed food ecosystem using blockchain is closer than ever.”
By creating a transparent, secured information-sharing platform, the food ecosystem can benefit from greater efficiencies and lower barriers to critical information access to help make the food supply chain safer. Built on Hyperledger Fabric-based open source technology, the solution uses permission based ledger to ensure companies can set rules about who can see the data they upload to the solution and for how long, and that they maintain control of their data even after it has been uploaded to Food Trust.