Blockchain for seafood traceability in the scallop industry

blockchain for seafood traceability
© iStock/LarisaBlinova

IBM has launched a platform which deploys blockchain for seafood traceability by logging the supply chain route of seafood catches.

A collaboration of sourcing partners, retailers and restaurateurs will provide and collate data through the new IBM Food Trust platform, which is built on IBM blockchain technology and developed in partnership with Massachusetts-based Raw Seafoods Inc. The first industry operator to implement the platform, which is aimed at ensuring full traceability of seafood across the supply chain, will be the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery, which is set to begin uploading its catch data in order to enable participating distributors and sellers to identify the provenance of each scallop catch. In addition to boosting the confidence of retailers and consumers in the supply chain origins – and by extension the freshness and quality – of seafood catches, the blockchain platform is projected to improve the sustainability of commercial fishing by enabling fishing boats to strategically target stock sources.

Daniel McQuade, Vice President of Marketing at Raw Seafoods, said: “We are always actively engaged in helping our suppliers, retailers and restaurants deliver a product that’s well above the industry standard for quality and freshness. With IBM Food Trust, we found the perfect tool for establishing a direct link between the consumer and the captain of the boat that caught their fish, empowering shoppers and diners to demand more from their food supply chain.”

The launch of the IBM Food Trust blockchain platform comes in the wake of reports that several major supermarkets unwittingly support illegal and unsustainable fishing practices due to a lack of transparency on seafood traceability through the supply chain.

IBM Food Trust General Manager Rajendra Rao said: “IBM Food Trust has helped some of the world’s most respected food brands and grocers improve consumer trust, address inefficiencies, and promote supply chain integrity. Traditionally, tracing the origin of a given food product could take days, if it was possible at all, especially for wild caught sea scallops. By reducing that time frame to a matter of seconds, we’re able to solve three of the core consumer concerns that deter them from enjoying seafood: safety, sustainability and authenticity.”

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