Albertsons Companies, one of the largest US grocery companies, has agreed to join IBM’s Food Trust network, a blockchain-powered network aiming to create transparency and accountability in the food supply. As a Software as a Service solution (SaaS), internet access and a browser are needed to access the network.
“Solution provides authorized users with immediate access to actionable food supply chain data, from farm to store and ultimately the consumer. The complete history and current location of any individual food item, as well as accompanying information such as certifications, test data and temperature data, are readily available in seconds once uploaded onto the blockchain.”
Albertsons plans to pilot software to monitor and ultimately improve its food supply network. With more than 2,300 stores and thousands of entities within its food supply chain, the US giant has great testing potential. Increased transparency will help address many different issues and challenges that retailers and consumers face. For instance, retailers would be able to increase consumer trust in food and loyalty in brands, as they will have more information about the supply chain process.
“Blockchain technology has the potential to be transformational for us as we further build differentiation on our fresh brand. Food safety is a very significant step. Through 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,” said Anuj Dhanda, Chief Information Officer at Albertsons Companies.
The focus of the partnership will be on overcoming the barriers when a traceback is initiated for high-risk food products. Other major grocery store operators, such as French Carrefour, are already enjoying the benefits of applying the latest blockchain technology.
“As a consumer, you can go into a Carrefour store and scan a QR code with your phone. Using the Carrefour app, this will deliver traceability information from IBM’s Food Trust directly to the consumer,” said Suzanne Livingston, Offering Director at IBM’s Food TrustTM.
The Idaho-based company operates more than 2,300 grocery stores across the United States, employs almost 300,000 people and has a revenue of more than $60 billion per year.