Supermarket Giant Albertsons Joins IBM Food Trust to Track Romaine Lettuce
Albertsons, the second-largest supermarket retailer in the United States, has become the most recent member to join IBM’s Food Trust network blockchain-based service. It plans to first track Romaine lettuce, then expand to other food categories.
Also read: IBM’s Food Supply Chain Platform Released
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Another Supermarket Begins to Track Romaine Lettuce Using Blockchain
Following Walmart’s mandate that all their suppliers of leafy green vegetables must upload their data through their own blockchain application by Fall 2019, Albertsons has made the move to become a member of the IBM Food Trust™ network.
With this move, Albertsons joins more than 80 brands in the network including Walmart, Dole, Nestlé, Unilever and Carrefour.
The company has very high ambitions and is quite bullish about their use of blockchain technology.
“Blockchain technology has the potential to be transformational for us as we further build differentiation on our fresh brand,” said Albertsons Cos. Chief Information Officer Anuj Dhanda.
Finding the Source of Produce in Seconds, not days or weeks
“Food safety is a very significant step.”, continued Anuj Dhanda.” In addition, the provenance of the products enabled by blockchain — the ability to track every move from the farm to the customer’s basket — can be very empowering for our customers.”
The IBM Food Trust solution brings together retailers, growers, suppliers and many different food industry providers to share information, and in the process enable more transparency, greater traceability and higher efficiencies.
According to IBM, through the use of blockchain, it is possible to track the source of food to its source in a matter of seconds, rather than the multiple days or weeks it can take by using current, non-blockchain systems.
Albertsons is planning on beginning the implementation of IBM Food Trust to track Romaine lettuce from one of its distribution centers, and is looking at expanding the service to other categories of food throughout its network.
Preserving the Integrity of Its Private Brands
As part of the objectives of implementing IBM Food Trust, Albertsons seeks to better monitor the source of its private-brand portfolio.
Per Jerry Noland, Vice President of Food Safety and Quality Assurance for Albertsons Cos, “Multiple high-profile consumer advisories from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration demonstrate the need to find more efficient ways of tracing products and identifying likely sources of contamination in a timely manner. Consequently, retailers are exploring new technologies to improve the infrastructure that underpins the global food-supply chain.”
According to IBM, the IBM Food Trust solution has already tracked more than 5 million food products and performed 200,000 food tracebacks.
IBM added that members are looking to expand the number of supply chain partners, including downstream suppliers, who join the network. This growth will help provide a fuller view of a food product’s life cycle, and make the entire food ecosystem safer.
Can having more supermarkets using blockchain help prevent the next food-born illness outbreak? Is this move by Albertsons a true positive step in food safety or merely a defensive move to remain competitive against Walmart and other players? Will this high-profile new member using IBM Food Trust trigger a wave of new members joining? Let us know in the comments section below.
Image viaCaldorwards4 at English Wikipedia