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The blockchain-based tech giant supply chain for the food industry IBM Food Trust has a new addition to its ranks, Kvarøy Arctic. It is a supplier for multiple restaurants and Whole Food retailers in the United States and Canada and will start utilizing blockchain technology to provide information about the origin of its products to both restaurants and consumers.
IBM Food Trust’s general manager, Raj Rao, stated that the partnership is “promoting transparency and sustainability in the seafood supply chains.”
Blockchain Encourages Transparency
The way blockchain can and does encourage transparency is through the usage of QR codes. The consumers and corporate buyers will be able to scan the QR and receive information about the origins of the specific product.
The accessible information will feature images detailing the conditions under which the salmon was produced with the addition of population and density of the habitat where the catching happens. This will also include the age, date of harvest, and the information about the supply route taken to transfer the product.
This is in the face of ongoing challenges arisen from the fraud and corruption in the whole region plaguing multiple industries including the seafood fraud. Blockchain has been successfully used to counteract money laundering, tax evasion, and fraud in the online casino industry. According to Casino på nett, in Norway the casino industry is monopolized by the government and the law dictates that if Norwegian citizen is caught gambling, the law punishes the company where the citizens were able to gain access to the gambling services. Blockchain was very effective in making the process much more transparent and helped the government control the traffic from its citizens.
The food industry will absolutely benefit from blockchain technology as the Kvarøy Arctic is closely working with BioMar to provide additional supply chain data to the project.
Fraud in the Food Industry
Kvarøy Arctic reported a dramatic increase in the demand for fresh seafood in the United States and Canada over the last three months, probably associated with the novel coronavirus pandemic. A producer has stated that they are shipping more than three times the normal amount of supplies.
IBM Food Trust representative, Espen Braathe, has informed Forbes that premium food attracts a high number of fraudsters trying to monetize on the consumable products saying that “When there is a premium price in food, the premium for fraud grows.”
The Environmental nonprofit Oceana has published a study revealing information that one-third of seafood products are mislabeled in the United States resulting in the increase of prices for the product, which is substandard at best.
The CEO of Kvarøy Arctic, Alf-Gøran Knutsen has reinforced the belief in the blockchain technology staying that “[It] is the future when it comes to ending fraud in the seafood industry,” as it “tracks a level of detail that helps us reduce food waste so we can feed more people in the world.”