In late October, Australian digital marketplace Two Hands completed its first blockchain traceable shipment of Southern Rock Lobster. The consignment left Melbourne on a Thursday and arrived in Shanghai the next day.
The shipment was tracked using GoTrace software. Two Hands initially had plans to expand its distributed ledger track and trace solution on Hyperledger Fabric. Still, they decided to pursue a private implementation of GoChain’s blockchain instead, where it launched a new version of its digital marketplace, the Two Hands Marketplace. GoChain is a variant of Ethereum.
The solution involves attaching a SmartTag to each lobster, which can then be scanned to track it on GoChain’s GoTrace software. The buyer purchases individual lobsters, at which point a ‘travel itinerary’ is written to GoTrace. As the seafood makes its way along the supply chain, the itinerary is validated using the GoTrace app.
In May, the company announced plans to implement GoChain public blockchain protocol and GoTrace Supply Chain Management Platform to track and trace lobster shipments.
Its business aims to eliminate middlemen to mitigate inefficiencies and fraud in the chain. By excluding intermediaries in the supply chain and facilitating connections between producers, restaurants, and direct consumers, Two Hands marketplace generates around 20% cost savings throughout the supply chain.
Consumer demand for food traceability has been on the rise. A recent IBM Institute for Business Value study corroborated by previous research by the Food Marketing Institute found that 73% of consumers will pay a premium for full transparency into products. IBM Food Trust is one of the biggest blockchain food traceability initiatives around the globe and recently increased its scope with olive oil suppliers in Argentina and Spain, and a Bangladesh project for fish traceability.
Meanwhile, other blockchain initiatives are using the technology to address other issues in the food industry. Standards body MarinTrust is supporting a blockchain traceability initiative for fish byproducts with expectations that it will prevent wastage of fish products and reduce illegal or unreported fishing. There are numerous other blockchain projects for fish and seafood.