The largest family-owned meat processor in Australia, along with the largest independent grocery retails, has entered the blockchain food ecosystem conversation.
Thomas Foods International and Drakes Supermarket announced in a statement this week that the two companies have signed on as members to IBM Food Trust, a pilot programme that used blockchain technology to trace the entire lifecycle of a food product from region to plate.
The pilot involved tracing the origin of a piece of steak back to one of four individual farms. IBM Food Trust uses blockchain technology to enable participating retailers, suppliers and growers to collaborate based on a shared view of food ecosystem data to enable greater traceability, transparency and efficiency.
Through the three-month pilot, Thomas Foods International and Drakes Supermarket have been able to upload data into a shared platform and accurately map the life-cycle of products throughout the entire food supply chain. IBM Food Trust members will all add data to the network and create a global network of food supply chain data and analytics, allowing other organisations to leverage the information to establish a “single, shared version” of the truth.
“By maintaining the individual data relating to each product instead of moving to data about grouped products, we are achieving a greater understanding of how each food item is moving through the supply chain.,” said Simon Tamke, Thomas Foods International. “This added level of transparency and verifiability will reinforce customers’ and consumers’ confidence in the provenance of our product and is made possible by blockchain technology. We are pleased with the steady progress of our blockchain collaboration with IBM, while we continue to receive very positive feedback from the industry and customers.”
Rupert Colchester, Head of Blockchain at IBM Australia and New Zealand, said: “We see blockchain as a potentially game-changing technology for food traceability. Drakes and Thomas Foods have demonstrated how different players in a single supply chain can securely share data and key events, bridging organisational boundaries for the good of both consumers and the benefit of their own business processes. We expect to see more of this collaboration in the coming year, with groups of partners working together for the benefit of the entire food industry.