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iTradeNetwork’s blockchain food traceability to challenge IBM’s Food Trust

grapes food traceability

On Wednesday iTradeNetwork announced its iTrade blockchain for perishable food traceability. The company is a global provider of supply chain management solutions for the food and beverage industry with clients including Nestle, Campbell’s and Wendy’s.

Customers now demand food traceability because they want to safeguard their health or ensure sustainability. Additionally, having information about the food source will allow governments and officials to react quickly in case of an emergency, such as the outbreak of the African Swine Fever in East Asia.

“There is no doubt about the criticality of food supply chain transparency, or about the many benefits offered by an immutable record of our food’s journey from its origin all the way to our plates,” said iTradeNetwork’s President and CEO Rhonda Bassett-Spiers.

Bassett-Spiers believes the company’s blockchain differentiates itself from others because it leverages its existing solutions and data. She continued: “Unlike other blockchains that are largely mosaics of 3rd party information, we capture food supply chain data right at the source–product catalogs, purchase order data, quality inspection information, logistics data, as well as dozens of distinct product attributes within our traceability suite.”

iTrade Network is one of the leading providers of supply chain management solutions for the retail, hospitality, food and beverage industry. The company’s customer network consists of more than 5,000 global companies ranging from growers to manufacturers and retailers. It includes many household names such as Heinz, Kellogg’s, Cargill, Kroger, Safeway and Hannaford. The company claims 14 of the top 20 North American grocers as customers.

However these clients – several of whom are part of the IBM Food Trust – haven’t yet signed up to its blockchain solution. The company says it’s in discussions with numerous potential partners and plans to launch later this year.

iTrade Blockchain uses Hyperledger Fabric and GS1 standards. Guy Hopkins, Head of Development and Enterprise Architecture said: “Its [Hyperledger Fabric’s] ability to secure and control access to data, combined with its high transactional throughput, make it an excellent choice for our initiative.”

Rene Cardenas, Head of Marketing and Strategic claimed that iTrade Blockchain is ‘no-nonsense and homegrown’ because of the company’s long history, combined with its technological and industry expertise. This would allow iTrade Network to “offer large and small players alike a variety of value-added services out of the box that other blockchains aren’t designed to offer.”

A variety of companies are addressing the traceability issue including IBM’s Food Trust which is the highest profile initiative. Last week SAP went live with Bumble Bee tuna traceability using blockchain. Swiss food company Gustav Gerig is also tracking tuna.

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.