IBM Blockchain Launches Food Trust Platform
American multinational information technology company IBM launched Food Trust platform for global use across the food ecosystem. The company was testing its blockchain based food traceability platform for over 18 months. The platform stated that they will include retailers, wholesalers, and suppliers. They added: The launch marks one of the first times that an enterprise blockchain network has been fully deployed at this degree of scale. IBM stated that their “solution-as-a-service” cloud platform would be accessible to individuals across the food supply chain industry.
IBM’s first partner is Carrefour, a French multinational retailer with 12,000 stores spread across 33 countries. Some other major players in the partnership includes Topco Associates and Wakefern. When combined together they represent more than 15000 stores all over the world. Multinational companies like Nestle, Unilever, Kroger and Tyson Foods are some of the important partners of IBM Food Trust Platform. Companies participating in the platform were required to have a “de-soiling” and “collaborative” approach. This would help them understand how the distributed and network-based business models would look like in the future.
Bridget Van Kralingen the Senior VP for IBM Global Industries said that the collaborative approach was how the blockchain technology could strengthen transparency. This would ensure better products for the customers and also benefit businesses. She added: The currency of trust today is transparency and achieving it in the area of food safety happens when responsibility is shared.
Vice President of IBM Food Trust, Brigid McDermott said that the IBM Food Trust platform addressed five critical barriers for the implementation of enterprise blockchain technology. The 5 barriers according to Brigid were: building an ecosystem, creation of a business model, ensuring security of data and access rights, integrating with other platforms, and building a system on “top of battle-tested” enterprise technology.
McDermott said that it was important to address all such barriers to ensure that all the players in the ecosystem felt inclusive. She said that ensuring that every participant earned a reasonable return on their investment was very critical. There has to be a fundamental ROI [Return on Investment] to join from the beginning. At the end of the day, you can’t force people to do something that’s not in their own best interest.