IBM Blockchain Solution Provides Seafood Traceability

Date: October 18, 2019

Source: The Maritime Executive

IBM and Raw Seafoods Inc. have started a new collaboration connecting global sourcing partners, retailers and restauranteurs through the IBM Food Trust platform to enhance seafood traceability. Built on the IBM Blockchain Platform, the initiative will start by digitizing the supply chain for scallops sourced from the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery.

Starting Thursday, a fleet of scallopers owned by Captain Danny Eilertsen of New Bedford, MA, will begin uploading data about their catch onto the platform, enabling distributors and retailers to identify exactly when and where a given lot of scallops was harvested. 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. 

This information, as well as images and video, is uploaded via satellite to a distributed ledger while still offshore. Once it is uploaded, it is then available to permissioned parties, including distributors, suppliers, retailers and their customers at point of sale. 

The technology is expected to address a number of problems including seafood fraud and mislabeling. Blockchain provides an immutable record of provenance, building confidence in the quality and freshness of the catch.

“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” said Rajendra Rao, General Manager of IBM Food Trust. “Traditionally, tracing the origin of a given food product like scallops 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.”

From a sustainability standpoint, the data gathered and stored on blockchain can help fishing boats source more strategically, providing boat owners a direct connection to the “last mile” in the distribution channels. 

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