New IBM blockchain tie-up targets seafood protection

Tech giant IBM has partnered with Raw Seafoods Inc to create a platform that will monitor the seafood supply chain. The initial product that will be monitored will be scallops, and it is hoped that this partnership will improve the transparency of where scallops originated, plus provide a secure, sustainable record related to the supply chain.

Initially, IBM will work with a fleet of scallop boats off the coast of Massachusetts. These boats will share data related to their catches, enabling those involved in the supply chain to be able to know where and when the catch was made.

In a statement, IBM explained that the “platform will also track when the boat landed portside, and when each scallop lot was hand graded, selected, packed and shipped to its final destination.” The data, along with images and video, will be uploaded via staellite.

This technology will address a number of problems related to this industry. According to U.S. Department of Agriculture data, at least 80% of Americans eat far less than the recommended amount of seafood they are to consume each week. This has become a growing problem which is partially attributed to the widespread fraud and mislabeling of seafoods that are sold to consumers.

By storing this data using the blockchain, those at the end of the supply chain will be able to prove the source of where the goods originated. Daniel McQuade, the VP in charge of marketing for Raw Seafoods, explained, “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.”

In August, IBM partnered with Chainyard to launch a new supply chain platform that would create a sort of digital platform authenticating goods within the supply chain. In addition, IBM has created platforms using blockchain technology to monitor supply chains for Nestle, Walmart, Lenovo, and others.

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