IBM Food Trust to find blockchain solutions to deliver sustainable supply of salmon to consumers

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The Norwegian farmed-salmon producer will enable traceability of fresh seafood products to improve supply chain credibility

Kvarøy Arctic, the Norwegian-based producer of farmed-salmon, is the latest firm to join the list of more than 200 companies part of the IBM Food Trust. The trust is a blockchain-based initiative by the tech-giant to connect participants across supply chains through a permanent and shared record of data. The partnership is expected to help create eco-conscious and informed consumers, along with improving food safety, minimising waste and increasing transparency.

With this initiative, Kvarøy Arctic will enable its corporate buyers, including Whole Foods Market stores in the US and Canada to trace the origin of its Arctic salmon. This is intended to help foster consumer trust across the supply chain using IBM Food Trust’s blockchain-based solution.

In the past few months, Kvarøy Arctic has reported a dramatic increase in demand for fresh seafood as consumers are increasingly looking for alternative sources of protein. However, with this increased demand for premium seafood products, there are increased instances of fraud.  As IBM Food Trust representative Espen Braathe explained, “When there is a premium price in food, the premium for fraud grows.”

A study by the environmental non-profit Oceana, found that one-third of all seafood in the world is mislabelled. This not only leads to consumers paying higher prices for substandard products, but also can lead to health issues for consumers over the long term.

This has prompted Kvarøy Arctic to create a reliable and transparent supply chain to allow high-quality seafood products to be delivered to consumers. Hence, the blockchain-based initiative enables consumers to scan a QR code that will provide data on the grade of feed used, the population and density of the habitats where the salmon were raised, their age, harvest date and more. The buyers can also download images and videos of the farm to verify the conditions and the animal welfare standards that Kvarøy Arctic upholds.

Further, the company plans to introduce an app for its consumers to provide insight into the sustainability of seafood in the future. It is also working with feed provider BioMar to create an immutable record of data, including the conditions where the salmon was raised, packed, certified and shipped to distributors around the world.  This will allow not only consumers but also other stakeholders such as fish farmers, distributors and retailers access to comprehensive real-time data, and thus help them make informed choices.

“Blockchain is the future when it comes to ending fraud in the seafood industry. It is a level of transparency that shows our dedication to being the best of the best,” said Kvarøy Arctic CEO Alf-Gøran Knutsen.

“Our work with Kvarøy Arctic further builds on our progress in promoting transparency and sustainability in the seafood trade,” said IBM Food Trust General Manager Raj Rao.  He concluded by saying that the collaborating tools developed by IBM Food trust will aid in preserving the integrity of seafood supply chains.

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