We have an unmatched amount of people to feed with populations growing around the country and world. Despite the globalization of trade, advances of technology, and rapid growth of available food, did you know we are still operating on pretty archaic systems?
The world also is experiencing unprecedented levels of foodborne illnesses. The World Health Organization estimates that 1 in 10 people fall ill due to foodborne diseases each year. In the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that roughly 48 million get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized and 3,000 die of foodborne diseases every year!
Waste is also a huge issue. According to the FDA, food waste is estimated at between 30–40% of the food supply in the U.S. alone! Given these major challenges, most people also want to know where their food came from, who made it, what types of pesticides are being used (if any), and if the label is truly accurate.
Luckily, one group has taken a seat at the table in order to solve this cluster of a problem.
Building on their initial work with blockchain to improve how food is transported, IBM, Walmart and Tsinghua University came together to create the IBM Food Trust to address food fraud, freshness, supply chain efficiency, waste and more.
The team created a reliable and secure way to know exact details when something goes eschew, implement a safer farm-to-table journey and reduce food waste. The technology behind this solution encompasses a shared view of food ecosystem information, with convenient data publishing and controlled sharing of information. This means that we maintain data ownership, access and permissions and locate items from the supply chain, all while being protected under the highest level of encryption.
The Food Trust is impacting the food industry around the globe. With the addition of Carrefour, Nestle, Dole, Driscoll’s, along with small to medium farms and producers, the Food Trust network is laying the foundation for better management of our global food supply. Using the reliability, security, and power of blockchain technology, they are providing insights into what happened when something goes wrong, reducing waste, and a safer journey from the farm to our local markets and, ultimately, to our dinner table.
This disruptive approach is what sets them apart from other contestants and made them the winner of the 2019 SuperNova Award for Data-Driven Digital Networks (DDNs) and Business Models.
The IBM Food Trust not only influenced the way we interact and move food from farm-to-table, but the way we value reliable, consistent and secure data in order to advance in a modern society.
If you have or know a team that is causing innovative disruption, then make sure you submit your nomination starting in March!