Kvarøy Arctic joins IBM Food Trust blockchain to track Norwegian farmed salmon.
Kvarøy Arctic, a major producer of Norwegian farmed salmon, will enter the IBM Food Trust blockchain network to improve the traceability of Arctic fish stock and enhance customer trust in its supply chain.
Utilizing distributed ledger blockchain technology, Kvarøy, and IBM Corp. will allow corporate buyers and consumers a transparent view of where fish came from — the journey the food took from pool to freezer or restaurant table – with a Quick Response code. The QR code provides access to everything that occurred to particular fish, including its provenance history and even the feed it was raised on.
“Blockchain is the future when it comes to ending fraud in the seafood industry,” said Kvarøy Arctic Chief Executive Alf-Gøran Knutsen in a statement. Blockchain technology utilizes widely distributed cryptographically secured ledgers to store and record transactions. In the case of tracking and tracing food, when a fish stock is taken from a pool, the activity is listed as data to the blockchain. Every time something is done to the food stock – like transport, processing, storage, distribution, and packaging – that event is recorded to the blockchain and tracking information.
Once the data is attached to the network, it is tamperproof and immutable. This means that a restaurant employee or consumer scanning a package of fish can assume that the data of every transaction back to its origination remains unchanged.
The IBM Food Trust network accepts that fact to give a transparency level that enables farmers, distributors, and restaurants to get a view of what appeared to the fish all along its journey. As a consequence, should any employee find the fish had become corrupted along the way – with bacteria or any other contaminant – the point of contamination can be rapidly identified, and any potential batches concerned can be isolated and recalled.
The IBM Food Trust Network started its commercial platform in October 2018 to utilize blockchain technology to improve food safety by giving high visibility into supply chain tracking. Since then, food suppliers have started numerous pilots that involve different types of food products, including Tunisian olive oil and milk. Other blockchain networks have also been utilized to track other foods like shrimp shipments from India and Black Angus beef.
According to Kvarøy, the company sought to partner with the IBM Food Trust network during a recent, dramatic increase in demand for seafood. The company reported that it shipped twice the volume expected in February 2020 and that the need for salmon has seen more active growth than poultry and beef as customers look for alternative protein sources.
“The technology tracks a level of detail that helps us reduce food waste so we can feed more people in the world,” said Knutsen in a statement. Kvarøy will utilize this to join the struggles of every part of its supply chain to build a permanent, digitized chain of transactions. This way, feed manufacturers, distributors, fish farmers, and retailers can access a complete view of product data in real-time. Since every part of the complete chain can see the supply chain, bottlenecks, and potential changes to improve efficiency can be quickly determined.
To improve the experience for consumers, images, and videos of the farms themselves will be available to show the conditions and animal welfare standards that Kvarøy upholds. The company intends to combine this into a customer app that will provide insight into the quality and sustainability of its farming methods.
“Our work with Kvarøy Arctic further builds our progress in promoting transparency and sustainability in the seafood industry,” said IBM Food Trust General Manager Raj Rao in a statement. “IBM Food Trust is delivering the tools needed to collaborate across industries and take action to preserve and maintain our global fisheries while protecting the integrity of seafood supply chains.” This technology will be used at select Whole Foods Markets stores in the U.S. and Canada in the coming months.