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National Fisheries Institute to begin seafood blockchain pilot with IBM Food Trust

Fri, 14 Jun 2019, 10:33 am UTC

The National Fisheries Institute (NFI) is going to start a supply chain traceability pilot program for seafood in collaboration with IBM’s Food Trust.

NFI is the United States industry trade group representing the seafood industry. The non-profit organization dedicated to education about seafood safety, sustainability, and nutrition.

Launched last October, Food Trust is an initiative that aims to enhance visibility and accountability in the food supply chain using blockchain technology. It creates a digital record of transactions or interactions – from packaging date to the temperature at which an item was shipped, to its arrival on a grocery shelf.

The pilot program, purportedly the first multi company and seafood species effort, will involve participation from NFI members, including harvesters, importers, processors, cold storage, foodservice restaurants and retail are all involved in the program.

The objective is to increase transparency, optimize supply chain processes and combat fraud. IBM’s system will help ensure that companies can set rules about who can see the data they upload and for how long and that they maintain control of their data even after it has been uploaded to Food Trust.

“We are excited that NFI and the real seafood value chain will test IBM’s technology,” said NFI President John Connelly. “NFI members’ supply chains are dynamic and wide reaching, a fertile ground for this type of pilot.”

According to the press release, the project is being funded by the Seafood Industry Research Fund (SIRF).

“Traceability is nothing new to the seafood community but blockchain is,” said SIRF Chairman and Fortune Fish & Gourmet CEO Sean O’Scannlain. “Whether it’s farmed or wild, we will test how IBM’s Food Trust can help seafood businesses generate revenue and reduce costs, from harvest to distribution to our customers.”

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