Friday, July 10, 2020

Norwegian seafood industry turns to blockchain to boost traceability

The Norwegian seafood industry is turn to blockchain technology to help boost traceable insights from sea to table.

A new cross-industry collaboration between Atea, IBM and Sjømatbedriftene, the Norwegian Seafood Association, will use blockchain technology to share supply chain data throughout Norway’s seafood industry with the aim of providing “safer, better seafood to consumers worldwide”.

Several Norwegian seafood companies – Kvarøy Arctic, a provider of naturally sea farmed salmon, and BioMar, a provider of high-grade fish feed – are now in the process of putting data onto the network.

Robert Eriksson, CEO of the Norwegian Seafood Association, believes that the technology will be of great significance going forward and that it will increase the competitive edge of the industry.

“Norwegian seafood is known for its quality. Yet we still do not have the ability to trace where the fish came from, how it was grown or how it was stored. This creates the potential for fraud and food waste,” he said.

“Blockchain can help eliminate these problems with a transparent, accountable record of where each fish came from. We believe that this is only the start of something that will mean a great deal for the industry by creating more sustainable food production, which in turn will increase the return for producers.”

Blockchain technology can help seafood producers create a “single version of the truth” about supply chain events, allowing consumers to trace their seafood products directly back to the source and enabling producers to tell stories about the products, where they come from, and how to prepare them.

The private blockchain network records data about catch location and time, supply chain events like shipping updates and customs clearance, and even temperature, which can then be shared with permissioned parties.

This new blockchain-based network will allow customers in-store to know the fjord where the fish is from, when it was fished, the feed it has eaten and whether the facility uses sustainable methods.

Customs agencies will be able to more easily access data about volume and location of shipments to expedite customs clearance. By sharing all this information across the supply chain, seafood producers who invest in quality will also be able to charge a premium, increasing pay for the people who catch your fish.

The blockchain network uses IBM Blockchain Transparent Supply, an innovative offering from IBM using the underlying technology behind Food Trust. It enables organisations and consortia to rapidly build out their own sustainable blockchain-based ecosystem for improved supply chain operations across numerous industries.

IBM Blockchain Transparent Supply promotes transparency and collaboration, allowing networks to manage their own membership, securely share documents and create a permanent record of the history and lifecycle of physical and digital assets.

“Blockchain is about enhancing flexibility and transparency, and IBM Blockchain Transparent Supply provides just that to clients who are interested in rapidly launching their own blockchain network with ecosystem partners, and using their own branding,” said IBM Food Trust General Manager Raj Rao.

“This powerful technology gives network members the option to develop their own governance and determine how and what information is shared.”

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