IBM Food Trust Blockchain Adds Nestle to Its Ever-Expanding Roster of Suppliers
The IBM Food Trust Blockchain, an initiative launched by the international IT giant in 2016 to enhance traceability in food supply chains, is planning on adding new companies to its growing list of participating suppliers this year—including the largest food company in the world, Nestlé.
The goal of IBM’s initiative is to help food suppliers and retailers manage their supply chains more effectively, increasing the rate and precision with which food recalls can be issued and attributed to specific outbreak incidents. This has the potential to provide significant cost savings to enterprises in the form of reduced wastage and, depending on the severity of the outbreak, fewer legal expenses due to reductions in end customer claims.
To accomplish its goal of increased food traceability, IBM’s blockchain solution connects parties in the supply chain—such as growers, wholesalers, and retailers—via a permissioned ledger. In so doing, all members stand to benefit from such advantages as increased food safety, greater product freshness, and reductions in operational inefficiencies.
Speaking with an interviewer at 24 heures, a bilingual Swiss newspaper, Benjamin Dubois, Nestlé’s digital transformation manager of global supply, emphasized Nestlé’s commitment to meeting dynamic consumer demands insofar as transparency. Identifying blockchain technology as an invaluable tool for establishing trust among stakeholders, Nestlé has been testing the IBM Food Trust Blockchain since August 2017.
Citing technical hurdles such as platform interoperability and scalability as project bottlenecks to be addressed in 2019, Dubois did not provide a specific timeline for the project’s official rollout into production.
With numerous companies currently exploring the benefits of blockchain technology for supply chain management, it will be interesting to monitor industry-wide food wastage figures and more qualitative brand reputation dynamics in the years to come.
Tuesday, January 29, 2019