With so many moving pieces in our industry, it can seem almost impossible to track every aspect of the supply chain. Although, this is exactly what 10 major companies located throughout the world are aiming to achieve. Including industry powerhouses like Walmart and Nestlé SA, what has now been dubbed the Food Trust is creating a blockchain to track food worldwide, ultimately expediting the time it takes to identify recalls and, therefore, reducing risks for consumers.
“You’re capturing real-time data at every point, on every single food product,” Frank Yiannas, Vice President of Food Safety for Walmart, shared in a recent report from Wall Street Journal. Walmart is also reportedly leading the charge for the blockchain. “It’s the equivalent of FedEx tracking for food.”
Kroger, Tyson Foods, Golden State Foods, Unilever, McCormick, McLane, Dole Food Company, and Driscoll’s, among others, are all part of the Food Trust group, which is looking to create new standards for the entirety of the food industry.
“We are competitors, yes, but working together to ensure the trust of consumers,” Chris Tyas, Global Head of Supply Chain for Nestlé, said in the post from the news source.
The Food Trust blockchain, which is built with International Business Machines Corp., is seen as a record-keeper that monitors transactions with many hand-offs throughout the process. The new system, then, shows a consistent history, Howard Popoola, Vice President of Corporate Food Technology and Regulatory Compliance at Kroger, expressed. By eliminating costly middle steps, the blockchain aims to create an ownership over the process, with encrypted data that monitors those working within the Food Trust’s processes. As of right now, every step within the supply chain is responsible for keeping track of its own food—from where it comes and to where it is sent—according to federal rules. With information tracked in this capacity, the FDA contacts companies that are involved whenever there is an illness outbreak, as the participating parties recreate the food’s trek throughout the process.
Some items currently storing data within the system are Tyson’s chicken thighs, Nestlé’s canned pumpkin, and Driscoll’s strawberries.
What are the next products on retailers shelves to participate in the Food Trust group and use this process? Deli Market News will keep you updated with the latest.