New IBM blockchain tie-up targets seafood protection

Tech giant IBM has partnered with Raw Seafoods Inc to create a platform that will monitor the seafood supply chain. The initial product that will be monitored will be scallops, and it is hoped that this partnership will improve the transparency of where scallops originated, plus provide a secure, sustainable record related to the supply chain.

Initially, IBM will work with a fleet of scallop boats off the coast of Massachusetts. These boats will share data related to their catches, enabling those involved in the supply chain to be able to know where and when the catch was made.

In a statement, IBM explained that the “platform will also track when the boat landed portside, and when each scallop lot was hand graded, selected, packed and shipped to its final destination.” The data, along with images and video, will be uploaded via staellite.

This technology will address a number of problems related to this industry. According to U.S. Department of Agriculture data, at least 80% of Americans eat far less than the recommended amount of seafood they are to consume each week. This has become a growing problem which is partially attributed to the widespread fraud and mislabeling of seafoods that are sold to consumers.

By storing this data using the blockchain, those at the end of the supply chain will be able to prove the source of where the goods originated. Daniel McQuade, the VP in charge of marketing for Raw Seafoods, explained, “We are always actively engaged in helping our suppliers, retailers and restaurants deliver a product that’s well above the industry standard for quality and freshness. With IBM Food Trust, we found the perfect tool for establishing a direct link between the consumer and the captain of the boat that caught their fish, empowering shoppers and diners to demand more from their food supply chain.”

In August, IBM partnered with Chainyard to launch a new supply chain platform that would create a sort of digital platform authenticating goods within the supply chain. In addition, IBM has created platforms using blockchain technology to monitor supply chains for Nestle, Walmart, Lenovo, and others.

Walmart’s blockchain-based food supply tracking platform goes live

Walmart’s blockchain-based food supply tracking platform goes live

Suppliers have begun entering food products into the ledger.

In 2016, Walmart announced its partnership with IBM for a blockchain project meant for recording details on all food supplies that enter their system. The project aimed to ultimately improve food safety by gathering detailed information on food suppliers, including where food supplies were  grown and how, as well as the inspector who gave it the clear. This would supposedly make it really quick to accurately pinpoint any contaminated food sources and take them off the shelves before consumers pick them up.

Frank Yiannas, vice president of food safety and health at Walmart, announced at the MIT Technology Review’s Business of Blockchain conference in Cambridge, Massachusetts that this platform is now live. According to a post by Bloomberg, Yiannas says the tracking time for produce was cut down from six days to a mere two seconds.

Walmart isn’t the only one leveraging blockchain technology for food safety. Beijing-based e-commerce giant JD.com has also recently started working on their own blockchain-based platform for tracking meat supplies to increase safety and shut out illegal and counterfeit meat from the supply chain. Blockchain technology has massive implications for streamlining supply chain management, cutting down on redundant and inefficient processes as well as substantially reducing overhead costs. Tech giant Samsung is also working on transitioning to a blockchain-based system for managing their multi-billion dollar business, which Samsung SDS Co. blockchain chief Song Kwang-woo announced earlier last week.

And based on recent developments, it seems Walmart is gearing up for even bigger blockchain transitions. Just last week, the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published two other patent applications filed by the retail giant: one for a vendor payment sharing system, and another for a “courier shopping system.”

Before that, they also filed a patent application for a “smart package system,” which looks like a management system for delivering packages using autonomous vehicles. Their proposed solution also incorporates a tracking system and a monitoring system that can check the state of the package’s contents, as well as where the package is at a given moment, who has custody over it, why it’s there, and when it will be delivered.

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For British Columbia’s consideration: IBM proposes putting Marijuana on a blockchain

The blockchain may just be the perfect ally in Canada’s move towards responsible cannabis use.

The Government of Canada has plans to legalize non-medical marijuana by July 2018, under the Cannabis Act. According to the government of British Columbia (BC), they are given jurisdiction over how they will handle legislation in their province: “While the proposed Cannabis Act provides for the federal government to regulate commercial production, provinces and territories will have authority to regulate certain aspects like distribution, retail and a range of other matters – as they do for tobacco and liquor.”

In preparation for this, BC’s government sent out an open call for proposals on how the substance will be regulated within their territory. And in response, IBM published their proposal, stating the use of blockchain technology to audit cannabis, “from seed to sale.”

IBM says that putting cannabis up on a blockchain will allow complete traceability and visibility of legal sources, and optimize the supply chain. Detection of illegal sources can also help keep potentially unsafe sources out of the supply, “and if poor product does enter the system, the controls, methods and ability to quickly identify its’ path is in place.”

Although cannabis enthusiasts would see this as a big and joyful win, the Cannabis Act is an effort to take responsibility and regulate the substance to keep it out of reach from young people, ensure safety, as well as lower black market sales and collect taxes from it.

“The objectives of the Act are to prevent young persons from accessing cannabis, to protect public health and public safety by establishing strict product safety and product quality requirements and to deter criminal activity by imposing serious criminal penalties for those operating outside the legal framework. The Act is also intended to reduce the burden on the criminal justice system in relation to cannabis.”

Smoking and driving—just like drinking and driving, remains a big no-no. “The B.C. government’s goals are protecting young people, making health and safety a priority, keeping criminals out of cannabis, and keeping our roads safe,” BC Minister Mike Farnworth says.

In fact, the Canadian government is dedicating $161 million to tighten law enforcement and equip officers to detect, screen, and implement the law against drug-impaired driving. The budget also covers research, policy development, and public awareness campaigns against driving under the influence. A total of $274 million overall is being allocated to support the Cannabis Act.

For British Columbia’s consideration: IBM proposes putting Marijuana on a blockchain

The blockchain may just be the perfect ally in Canada’s move towards responsible cannabis use.

The Government of Canada has plans to legalize non-medical marijuana by July 2018, under the Cannabis Act. According to the government of British Columbia (BC), they are given jurisdiction over how they will handle legislation in their province: “While the proposed Cannabis Act provides for the federal government to regulate commercial production, provinces and territories will have authority to regulate certain aspects like distribution, retail and a range of other matters – as they do for tobacco and liquor.”

In preparation for this, BC’s government sent out an open call for proposals on how the substance will be regulated within their territory. And in response, IBM published their proposal, stating the use of blockchain technology to audit cannabis, “from seed to sale.”

IBM says that putting cannabis up on a blockchain will allow complete traceability and visibility of legal sources, and optimize the supply chain. Detection of illegal sources can also help keep potentially unsafe sources out of the supply, “and if poor product does enter the system, the controls, methods and ability to quickly identify its’ path is in place.”

Although cannabis enthusiasts would see this as a big and joyful win, the Cannabis Act is an effort to take responsibility and regulate the substance to keep it out of reach from young people, ensure safety, as well as lower black market sales and collect taxes from it.

“The objectives of the Act are to prevent young persons from accessing cannabis, to protect public health and public safety by establishing strict product safety and product quality requirements and to deter criminal activity by imposing serious criminal penalties for those operating outside the legal framework. The Act is also intended to reduce the burden on the criminal justice system in relation to cannabis.”

Smoking and driving—just like drinking and driving, remains a big no-no. “The B.C. government’s goals are protecting young people, making health and safety a priority, keeping criminals out of cannabis, and keeping our roads safe,” BC Minister Mike Farnworth says.

In fact, the Canadian government is dedicating $161 million to tighten law enforcement and equip officers to detect, screen, and implement the law against drug-impaired driving. The budget also covers research, policy development, and public awareness campaigns against driving under the influence. A total of $274 million overall is being allocated to support the Cannabis Act.