United States food and drug chain Albertsons Companies has become the latest client retailer of IBM’s Food Trust blockchain platform, the company confirmed in a press release on April 11.
Albertsons, which operates a network of 2,300 stores across the U.S., will use the platform initially to track the supply chain for romaine lettuce, but aims to branch out into other products.
Since it launched in October 2018, Food Trust has grown to incorporate around 80 clients in a rapidly-expanding industry, Albertsons noting that over five million food products now use blockchain technology as part of their delivery process.
“Blockchain technology has the potential to be transformational for us,” CIO Anuj Dhanda commented in the press release. Dhanda continued:
“Food safety is a very significant step. In addition, 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.”
Food Trust represents just one of several blockchain-focused enterprise solutions IBM has developed in recent years.
Testing of the platform began in 2016 with Walmart in China, and other food giants such as Nestle subsequently coming on board, the latter hinting about the user base expansion in January.
In 2018, in the aftermath of the outbreak in the U.S. of the E-coli contamination of romaine lettuce, Walmart’s vice president of food safety noted that even if it takes years for the food industry to completely adopt blockchain, “outbreaks don’t have to be this big and this long.”
“Establishing IBM Food Trust and opening it to the food ecosystem last year was a major milestone in making blockchain real for business,” Raj Rao, Food Trust’s general manager, stated in today’s press release. Rao added:
“Today, we are focused on ensuring that the solution scales and is accessible to participants across the food ecosystem, such as Albertsons Companies.”