Blockchain technology’s public ledger capabilities have been widely covered in the recent months, due to the crypto currency it serves as a platform for, known as Bitcoin.
The blockchain is an fast-evolving technology that will continue to be utilized by businesses in the years to come. One part of the value chain that has begun to realize the capabilities of blockchain technology is supply chain management. The opportunities for globally transparent and traceable transactions, labeling and earmarking, when using blockchain technology, are unparalleled by other existing SCM technologies.
(If you want to learn more about what blockchain technology is, and how it can be utilized for the future of supply chain management, check out this article.)
IBM, a world leader in blockchain development, has begun collaborating with brands such as Dole, Driscoll’s, Tyson and Nestlé to develop a blockchain for the food supply system. This collaboration is receiving simultaneous support from brands such as Walmart, Unilever and Kroger.
Collaboration on this scale, with such massive names and levels of experience, has the potential to create shared innovation capable of global-reaching impact.
"Blockchain technology enables a new era of end-to-end transparency in the global food system," Frank Yiannas, vice president of food safety at Walmart, said in a statement.
In regards to actualizing food safety through utilization of blockchain tech, the collaboration sees real potential for comprehensive data logging, identification, transparency, cross-organizational trust and a means for accountability in their supply chains. Being that blockchain functions on the premise of a public (yet permanent) ledger, data sets could potentially lead a salmonella outbreak all the way back to the source; serving as a preventative work tool, but also as a means to catch mishaps and recall contaminated products before their impact scales.
From farm, to factory, to the shelves of a store, the future of blockchain technology will make any shopping experience an enlightening and unique experience, by answering consumer demands on increased transparency of products.
In fact, IBM and Walmart already ran a pilot, which they were able to track a product from farm to shelf. Supply chain management is a business activity, existing currently, in an exciting chasm of disruptive digital transformation.