At the same time, Food Trust helps
enterprises work better together on the food supply chain by creating a
transparent register of data to show how food is transferred from vendor to
IBM announced Food Trust in
August 2017, with support from companies including Walmart, Dole, Nestlé and
Kroger, among others.
Bringing Food Trust Mainstream
Earlier this month, IBM announced that after 18 months of testing, Food
Trust is now generally available.
The announcement also touted the
decision by Carrefour, a major European grocer and retailer, to adopt Food
Trust to help manage the supply chain for products that it sells under its own
brand. Carrefour’s goal is “to provide our clients with safe and undoubted traceability,”
Laurent Vallée, general secretary of Carrefour, said in the announcement.
IBM also reported that Food Trust is
now being used by suppliers including BeefChain, Dennick Fruit Source, Scoular
and Smithfield, as well as American retail food conglomerates Topco Associates
(which owns a variety of common brands, such as Shurfine and Clear Value) and
Wakefern (whose supermarket brands include Shoprite, among others).
IBM said as well that it is working
with food storage and transport companies, including 3M and Emerson, to build
solutions that can use sensors and Food Trust APIs to collect data about food
automatically as it travels down the supply chain, and then record the data to
Who’s Really Using Food Trust?
Critics might note that the list of
Food Trust users announced by IBM this month does not include any of the names
that Big Blue mentioned when it announced the initiative that became Food Trust
in August 2017. It’s unclear, then, how many of the early collaborators are still
using the platform.
Nor is it certain how extensively the
companies that IBM named recently are actually using Food Trust currently;
Carrefour, for example, reported only that it plans to expand Food Trust to all
of its brands by 2022, but said nothing about how many of its brands are using
the solution today or will use it in the near future.
What is clear, however, is that Food
Trust is enjoying some momentum and that there are rich opportunities for
partners across the food supply chain — from transport companies to
retailers — to leverage IBM’s enterprise blockchain for increasing transparency
into the origins of the food we eat.