Category Archives: Food Trust

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Retail Giant Target Hits Bullseye with New Blockchain Initiative

Retail Giant Target Hits Bullseye with New Blockchain Initiative

Minnesota-based retail giant Target has now locked into a blockchain project earlier used by one of its suppliers as it shows a greater willingness to come on board with the new technology.

This now means that the international retailer, which remains the 8th largest in the US operating 1,851 stores across the country with 300,000 team members around the world, has officially entered the blockchain space.

Its two current supply support networks, ConsenSource and Hyperledger Grid, require hiring blockchain savvy staff to boost its distributed ledger technology-related work across the US, developing “distributed ledger systems, protocols, smart contracts, CLIs, and RESTful APIs in an open source environment”, according to recent employment opportunity advertising.

“I’m proud that Target will support the Hyperledger Grid project, and that we’re committing dedicated engineering resources to build out components in the Grid architecture,” said Joel Crabb, Target’s vice president of architecture, adding:

“Many companies – including Target – see the most potential for enterprise blockchain initiatives as open source.”

He explained that open-source projects required all participating parties to define the governance model collectively allowing companies to “focus their time working on blockchain-based solutions that will lead to greater speed, transparency and cost savings”.

Target plans to join the Sawtooth Supply Chain project, which is currently working on documenting the provenance of food and other assets using the Sawtooth implementation of Hyperledger, although the retail giant is not yet a member.

Rival Walmart uses Food Trust for its tracking, also a Hyperledger implemented project developed by IBM. Target’s use of blockchain had been low key up until recently until hiring Aarthi Srinivasan from IBM as its director of product management for personalization, machine learning, and blockchain, in 2016.

With Sawtooth, Target is clearly showing its intention to conduct what it calls “a broad migration of many mainframe-based systems and middleware products to a modern platform” relating to supply chain management.

 

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IBM’s Food Trust Blockchain Goes Live, Carrefour Jumps in First

Multinational tech giant IBM has been leaving a significant imprint on the retail industry lately with the use of blockchain technology, and it’s doing again with the latest project, Food Trust.

IBM, not content with providing foodchain solutions for mega-retailer Walmart, has now hooked up with French supermarket giant Carrefour in order to launch blockchain based Food Trust, enabling the chain to price its products more accurately.

The recent IBM/Walmart project came up with a farm-to-store tracking system based on blockchain technology which Walmart committed 100 of its suppliers to adhere to. Both Walmart and IBM have been at the forefront of DLT since its conception and both companies are eager to promote the use of new technology in sectors including business and commerce. Walmart has become a primary mover in the industry in pushing blockchain forward with numerous patents pending.

The latest IBM deal with Carrefour, now operating in over 12,000 locations around the globe, offers three individual retailing solutions using DLT. The first of which, called “Trace” offers a sophisticated system of tracking products from source, which also factors in shipping and production costs, allowing the retailer to arrive at a fair price to pass on to customers.

Other aspects of Food Trust in its present early form focus establishes how goods fit retailers “Fair Trade” or “Organic” tags in order to be accurately listed on the blockchain, adding to buyer confidence.

Carrefour itself is no stranger to using emerging technologies in recent months and made a recent impact on the French farming sector this year with its blockchain based system which began tracking its chicken supply. This provided customers with an egg to table history by using a smartphone to scan a code on the packaging to obtain details on each stage of production, including origins, earlier location, feed and where the meat was finally processed.

Carrefour may be the first to use the latest IBM system, but now Food Trust is live and it’s there to be used by all in the food industry moving forward.

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