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Dole shares 5-year blockchain plan for product tagging and advanced traceability solutions

Image by Dole

Sun, 26 Apr 2020, 05:31 am UTC

The Dole Food Company is planning to use blockchain to monitor its products.

Dole released its sustainability report on Wednesday where it mentioned its five-year blockchain plan for stronger food safety. The company wants to launch a blockchain product tagging and other “advanced traceability solutions” across it three businesses – tropical fruits, fresh vegetables and other diversified foods.

“Implement blockchain product tagging technology and/or advanced traceability solutions in all Dole divisions by 2025,” Dole's blockchain goal reads.

For its blockchain solution, Dole is teaming up with Walmart, IBM and other partners to demonstrate the technology’s potential. Blockchain has been used by financial institutions for years to bring a step change in food safety.

“Blockchain cuts the average time needed for food safety investigations from weeks to mere seconds. Produce that’s been logged via blockchain can be instantly tracked back through the supply chain, giving retailers and consumers confidence in the event of a recall,“ the report reads.

With the use of blockchain, consumers can scan each bag or package of salt or vegetable they purchase to get information about its journey from the farm to the store shelf.

Dole has started implementing blockchain in its supply chain for salads and fresh vegetables as early as 2019. While the data are being shared with the customers, there are also security measures that prevent each retailer from seeing proprietary information about another retailer’s products and vice versa. However, Dole has no plans to roll out the technology for other produce items in the near future.

Meanwhile, in the third quarter of 2019, FCMG Gurus surveyed 26,000 consumers across 26 countries about blockchain. Many of them said that they would use the technology to find out more about the food, drink, and nutritional supplements in the market.

“The reality is that a consumer disconnect with brands is something that will only intensify in the future due to concerns about practices and policies. As such, brands should look to become early adopters of blockchain technology, in order to demonstrate a proactive approach to trust and transparency when it comes to communicating information,” the report stated.

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