Ever since the attention of developers shifted from cryptocurrency to blockchain technology, countless new use cases were found for this emerging tech. While most of them remain theoretical at this time, mostly due to the need for the blockchain tech to mature and receive proper regulations, some of them have already started affecting different industries, as well as regular people.
One such use case is the improvement of transparency and trust regarding food supplies, with the tech giant IBM being one of the leading firms that are using the blockchain for this purpose.
IBM Food Trust Blockchain Platform
To help bring more transparency to our food, IBM has created and launched a platform based on the blockchain technology. The platform, Food Trust, went live in October 2018, after spending 18 months in testing. During this time, the company has marked and tracked millions of individual food products.
The main goal of the platform, as mentioned earlier, is to improve the quality of the food by creating a large and complex network that will be able to track food from the source, directly to consumers. Whenever someone wishes to buy a food product, they will be able to get correct and precise data regarding where the food comes from, its freshness, as well as other important details.
This is expected to result not only in top quality food available for consumers, but also in bettering the supply chains, reducing the shelf-life of products, and preventing the waste of food. The network also provides greater visibility for potential emerging issues, which is of extreme importance in order to immediately prevent any problems, including health issues, scarcity or abundance.
Through the Food Trust platform, all products can get digitized, and all information can be accessed and shared in a matter of seconds. Furthermore, the network connects producers, processors, distributors, as well as retailers themselves via a permissioned and permanent shared record of the food data.
The data-sharing system can also help with preventing food-related fraud, as well as reducing the human error. As a result, the integrity of products, raw materials, and even packaging can be significantly improved, while the products will be ensured to only come from trusted producers, known for their quality and effective methods.
Soon after the platform's launch, IBM announced that their service would be available to everyone in the food supply chain, While many companies were interested in joining, one of the first adopters of the system was a French retailer, Carrefour, which has 12,000 stores in 33 countries worldwide. Suppliers such as Dennick Fruit Source, BeefChain, Smithfield, and others also decided to join the program, and so did other multinational companies including Kroger, Unilever, Nestle, and Tyson Foods.
Blockchain Use Cases Coming To Life
For a long time, blockchain use cases were criticized by many as purely theoretical, and with no practical use in the world. Their main question was — if blockchain can bring such a large change and improve the lives of so many people, why is the change not arriving?
The launch of the Food Trust platform has certainly helped put such comments to rest, or at least reduce their effect. The platform is one of the first major use cases for blockchain technology, and also one that affects everyone, unlike its use for making transactions which is still mostly limited to coin holders.
In other words, this proves that the blockchain technology is the “real deal,” and that it can deliver on its promises to improve the world. The trust in the food quality is no longer needed, as all information can be accessed instantly, and provide consumers with knowledge of what they are buying, how fresh is it, and where did it come from.
Meanwhile, IBM's continuing to expand its partner base, as many are eager to adopt the new technology, not only to deliver the best for their customers but also to remain relevant in the evolving industry.