Blockchain benefits seafood industry – European salmon producers agree

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Have you ever questioned where your food came from, especially when dining on supposedly fresh seafood? Today’s food consumer is quickly becoming more conscious of the quality of ingested food, as information floods the market of contaminated sources and production methods. As more and more companies are discovering, blockchain technology offers a far better solution than has yet been devised. The initiator in this field has been IBM, with its Food Trust blockchain platform, which can detail the history of an item from “harvest to plate”.

Two European salmon producers are the latest firms to tout the benefits and success in implementation of a blockchain-based solution. Cermaq, a salmon farming company, and Labeyrie, a smoked salmon producer, are the two firms. Per Coin Telegraph:

Cermaq announced the development in a Nov. 20 press release, revealing that it cooperated with Labeyrie and IBM’s blockchain platform IBM Food Trust to enable customers to get information about the salmon value chain. All Cermaq salmon products now come with a CV and QR-code, so consumers can check details.

What kind of “details” can be tracked? The information that can be accessed from the blockchain via the provided CV and QR codes include: “[fish] origin, when it was hatched, which fresh water facility it came from, how big it was when it was transferred to seawater, at which sea water facility it has been farmed, as well as health and welfare information such as which vaccinations it has received, what it has been fed, and when it was harvested.”

This project is not the first one to be driven by the consumer’s desire for more transparency in the food he or she eats. IBM saw the market need for an efficient and creditable information tracking system in the food industry and met that need with its Food Trust platform. There have been several announcements of the benefits of blockchain, both in the seafood industry as elsewhere, including:

  • Nordic Inc. and its distributor, Raw Seafoods Inc., have already deployed a service to track its line of scallops related products, with plans to expand to their other product lines soon;
  • Per the Boston Globe: “It’s already started at French grocery chain Carrefour, which operates stores throughout Europe, China, Africa, and South America. Carrefour customers can use a phone app to find detailed information about two dozen items, including chicken, eggs, oranges, pork, and cheese; Carrefour plans to add about 100 more items by the end of 2019.”
  • Carrefour has also partnered with Nestlé to track every step in the supply chain for milk-based formula products for infants;
  • There have also been a number of early adopters of the Food Trust platform by national grocery chains at the level of Walmart, Kroger, and Albertsons, along with food producers like Smithfield Farms and Golden State Foods.

Nordic, Inc. operates six scallop boats in the North Atlantic, based out of New Bedford. He is working with restaurant chains that will actually be able to show their customers where and when the fish, for example, were caught and harvested, supplemented in some cases with actual video. Dan Eilertson, Nordic’s owner, said:

They can watch it as we catch it. The whole story about the product you’re eating will be right in front of you.

Dan McQuade, vice president of marketing for Raw Seafoods, explained that the demand for fully traceable seafood has grown to the extent that “transparent” seafood can command higher prices in the marketplace. Sustainability information now supports the increase in cost, but as McQuade warns his competitors:

Get used to blockchain, because if you don’t embrace it, you’ll be competing with it.

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Blockchain benefits seafood industry – European salmon producers agree

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