News Supply chain

Drakes, Thomas Foods pilot IBM Food Trust in Australia

steak food traceability

Today IBM announced the first Australian organizations to trial its IBM Food Trust blockchain. The companies are Thomas Foods International, Australia’s largest family-owned meat processor, and Drakes Supermarket, an Australian independent grocery retailer with more than 50 stores. The solution enables stakeholders to trace the complete life cycle of a food product which is updated in real-time.

The trial involved tracing a piece of steak back to one of four farms.

Thomas Food International (TFI) and Drakes Supermarket have been using IBM Food Trust for the past three months to improve operational efficiencies by updating their data on the shared platform. The products can then be traced as they move through the supply chain, even across different organizations. However, only companies within their supply chain can view the information.

One benefit of the system is in a food recall there’s the ability to granularly identify problematic food, saving on food waste. Another significant advantage is retailers can offer traceability to consumers who increasingly want information about whether their food is sustainable, fairly sourced and healthy.

“The greater level of granularity since adopting IBM Food Trust has enabled the traceability of a food package across the supply chain, reducing the time required to identify the origin of a product from days to just seconds,” commented Tim Cartwright from Drakes Supermarket.

Rupert Colchester, Head of Blockchain at IBM Australia and New Zealand, said: “Transparency and traceability are the keys to many industries now, and none more so than in the critical issues of food safety and provenance.” IBM’s blockchain solution uses Hyperledger Fabric.

In the past few months, a number of companies within the food industry worldwide have started to use blockchain for addressing traceability issues. Last week, iTradeNetwork announced its blockchain for perishable food traceability to challenge IBM’s Food Trust. SAP also went live with Bumble Bee Tuna traceability using blockchain technology.

On March 26-27 2019 Hanson Wade is running a conference, Blockchain for the Food & Beverage Supply Chain in San Francisco. Ledger Insights is a media partner.

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