Albertsons, Food And Drug Behemoth, Joins IBM’s Blockchain-Powered Food Trust Network
Boise-headquartered food and drug giant, Albertsons Companies, has finally joined IBM’s Blockchain-powered Food Trust Network. Confirming this new development, the American grocery company announced that it would be piloting the use of Blockchain to trace the pathway followed by romaine lettuces from when it’s harvested all the way to when it reaches the store shelf.
For Albertsons which runs about 2,300 stores all over the US, the prospect of being among the pioneers in leveraging the convenience of Blockchain is incredible. Breaking the news, Albertsons Companies’ chief in charge of information, Anuj Dhanda was understandably excited with Blockchain being at the heart of their quest for food safety.
What Is Food Trust?
It is perhaps the single biggest, most active non-cryptocurrency Blockchain networks today, all thanks to IBM. It is a subscription service that hosts companies in the food industry. And so, having Albertsons and more specifically all the 2,300+ stores on board is a huge win for the network.
Built on the open-source Hyperledger Fabric-based Blockchain technology; a technology designed to allow entering of data that is neither erasable nor editable, Food Trust is growing. It is a network whose participants can access whatever is available freely.
The network is barely a year old having been born out of the need to help businesses leverage the benefits of Blockchain, according to the project’s GM, Raj Rao. Yet, the network is growing at a terrific rate, not only because of the entry of Albertsons, but also due to the fact that it already has over 80 brands signed up to it.
Reasons Behind Albertsons Companies Joining The Network
This American grocery company will effectively help bring in increased transparency and collaboration in the supply of safer food. Basically, what Albertsons will pilot in the network will be to track the pathway food follows right from when it leaves the producers up to when it ends up at the retailers’ premises. And it will do this in a more transparent way, pretty much like what Blockchain is founded on.
Members will thus share digitally decentralized and hacker-proof information and still allow stakeholders, especially clients to trace and validate food products in various stores. They will be able to go back and check when the item was packaged, the temperature under which it was shipped and the arrival date and so forth.
The essence of Blockchain in the food industry at a time when food safety is taking the center stage is higher. Today, technology is almost always at the heart of everything to do with food, all thanks to the convenience it’s bringing. It is involved in the supply chain, waste reduction, keeping them fresh and on the fair trade and organic aspects as well.
And with the Food Trust network, transparency and trust in whatever one buys at the Albertsons grocery stores across the country will always be a guarantee. In fact, so high are the stakes in this new development that many can’t wait seeing it transform food is handled and wastage reduced.
Piloting On Tracking Romaine Lettuce Is Good For The Grocery Company
Albertsons is on the network, firstly to pilot the whole process of tracking romaine lettuce right from when it is dispatched from a selected distribution center. It will later expand to diverse food types, essentially using the findings of this first piloting project.
Piloting it will have an even bigger meaning to the grocery retailer. Albertsons will use it to bypass the various obstacles that have always existed on foods like the lettuce. However, this doesn’t mean the effort of this revolutionary network hasn’t been realized yet.
According to Anuj Dhanda who is Albertsons’ Chief Information Officer, the Blockchain technology will potentially transform the company as a whole. He says it will empower their customers to take charge of what they get from the shelves.
The whole arrangement has seemingly attracted the attention of top-ranking personalities at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as the Food and Drug Administration. As Jerry Noland, the company’s VP – Food Safety and Quality Assurance said, user advisories from the two organizations are in agreement with Albertsons Companies.
The power of a Blockchain network is with the number of participants and that’s why Food Trust is already a force to reckon with. Already, over five million foodstuffs existing on the network can be sourced from the various stores right now.
It’s also impressive that participants in the ecosystem are requesting their downstream suppliers to subscribe to the network. Having everyone on board, including them will give it a more complete image out there.