us food and drug retail giant to track lettuce using ibm’s food trust network

American Food and Drug Retail giant Albertsons Companies joins IBM’s blockchain-based Food and Trust network. IBM shared the announcement in a press release dated April 11.

Albertsons Companies, which currently operates 2,300 stores across 34 US states, includes subsidiaries like Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, Acme, Randalls and Star Market. With the addition of Albertsons, the Food Trust ecosystem’s tally of brands crosses over 80.

Furthermore, the release shared that over five million food products are now using revolutionary technology to enhance their supply chain process.

The press release noted that Albertsons would utilise the network in tracking the supply chain process of romaine lettuce. Also proclaiming that it intends on expanding to other food categories.

Launched last year, IBM’s Food Trust Network utilises blockchain technology in improving the traceability and authenticity of the food supply chain process. The solution assists in creating a digital record of transactions- right from origin to the store’s shelf.

In the press release, Anuj Dhanda, Chief Information Officer at Albertsons Companies, was quoted saying – “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.”

The Food Trust Network is built on Hyperledger Fabric-based open source technology uses permissions ensuring companies to set rules about who can view the data and also the duration for which they can view it.

ibm’s food trust network will allow network members to share digital, distributable and immutable data to track food products and enhance the supply chain process.

Talking about the efficacy of tracing food products with blockchain technology, Raj Rao, General Manager at IBM Food Trust said –

“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 secure environment, we believe our vision of a transformed food ecosystem using blockchain is closer than ever.”

In September 2018, Walmart announced blockchain-based “Walmart Food Traceability Initiative”, to enhance transparency in the food system. This was after the US “experienced a large, multistate outbreak of E coli O157:H7 linked to romaine lettuce”. The outbreak witnessed 96 people being hospitalised, and tragically resulting in five deaths.

Concluding the press release, IBM signified the Food Trust platform as the “largest and most active non-crypto blockchain networks in production today.” Moreover, IBM informed the members of the food ecosystem to join by availing as a subscription service.