Friday, November 2, 2018

Blockchain for Produce: The Future of Food Safefy, How RedLine Solutions is Ahead of the Game.

You've probably heard about blockchain in that it's a secure way of recording public transactions of digital currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereuim. Now, large companies like Walmart want in on the action, but not with cryptocurrencies, but with produce.

Walmart has recently announced that it will be working with IBM FoodTrust and Centricity to create a food safety "blockchain" that will require all produce providers to write data in to their blockchain system by September 2019.

This is a huge step towards food safety and traceability that eventually all major suppliers of produce will soon follow. A Blockchain for Produce will improve the speed of action in stopping major E.Coli outbreaks from spreading by pin-pointing exactly where an infected batch of produce is in a matter of seconds, potentially preventing thousands of illnesses and even deaths.

To do this, the blockchain platform would share data only with known participants, for example; the grower shipper will be a member of the retailer's block chain and will use their credentials to write data to the shared ledger. This data will include product and lot information of their shipments to that retailer. The retailer will be able to see which lots were shipped to which distribution center or store and be able to do a lookup on any given lot to know where it was shipped within seconds when a quality or food safety issue occurs. In addition to visibility, the blockchain platform providers can tie activities, such as receipts, to electronically fulfill contracts, such as initiate payments. 

RedLine Solutions provides the first mile of the blockchain. We capture the grower and lot data on receipts, packing, and shipments and will write that data to the blockchain that is used by receivers of the product. The produce industry requirements and challenges for blockchain are being worked on now and some early pilots have been completed with more on the way.

Blockchain is enabled by case level traceability we established in the PTI. As a leader in produce inventory and traceability systems RedLine Solutions has been capturing and managing this data for the past decade. We can already send Advance Ship Notice (ASN) information and as blockchain platforms evolve we will be writing this data into the various block chain ledgers.

RedLine Solutions will have the ability to write our customers data to blockchain ledgers prior to the Walmart deadlines. We anticipate running our own pilots in Q2 of 2019.

About the Author Todd Baggett
Our founder and CEO, Todd Baggett, is on the PMA Blockchain Committee and is the Co-Chair of the PTI Technology Working Group. He is actively working to help our industry with this transition.

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