Albertsons Companies, the world’s second-largest supermarket chain by sales, has revealed that it has joined IBM’s Food Trust blockchain to improve how food is traced from farm to store shelf.
Albertsons which operates nearly 2,300 stores across America will use the platform initially to track the supply chain for romaine lettuce but plans to use the technology for other products in the future.
"Blockchain technology has the potential to be transformational for us as we further build differentiation on our fresh brand," said Anuj Dhanda, Chief Information Officer, Albertsons Companies.
"Food safety is a very significant step. In addition, the provenance of the products enabled by blockchain — the ability to track every move from the farm to the customer's basket — can be very empowering for our customers."
The Food Trust blockchain network is now used by more than 80 brands and brings to enable greater transparency and, ultimately, a safer food supply.
By using blockchain technology, stakeholders can work together to authenticate products or optimise supply chain processes.
The platform creates a digital record of transactions and interactions from a packaging date, to the temperature at which an item was shipped, to its arrival on a grocery shelf.
"Multiple high-profile consumer advisories from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration demonstrate the need to find more efficient ways of tracing products and identifying likely sources of contamination in a timely manner," said Jerry Noland, VP of Food Safety & Quality Assurance, Albertsons Companies.
"Consequently, retailers are exploring new technologies to improve the infrastructure that underpins the global food supply chain."