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As our food systems become truly global — with producers, distributors and retailers spanning multiple countries, each relying on unique standards of quality, process and accountability — the need to monitor the safety and efficiency of our food supply becomes increasingly critical.

Up to 30% of populations in industrialized countries suffer from food-borne diseases each year.

1.3 billion tons of food are lost or wasted each year globally.

With nearly 700 million pigs, China accounts for more than half the world’s pork—producing and consuming more than the next 43 largest pork-producing countries combined. Much of the production takes place in Shandong Province, one of China’s most important agricultural regions.

698 million pigs - China, the world’s top pork producer and consumer

65.9 million pigs - United States, the world’s second largest pork producer

To help limit porcine disease and prevent tainted pork from reaching the market, Shandong Commercial Group and IBM are creating an analytics-based system to monitor pork across all phases of the supply chain.

A smarter food monitoring system

Production - Unique serial numbers identify which pigs become which pork products. Cameras monitor quality throughout the production process right up until shipping.

Distribution - Sensors along with global positioning and geographic information systems monitor condition, temperature, humidity, security and location at all times.

Retail - Stores link point-of-sale platforms to the system to access detailed information about every product they sell.

Traceablity from farm to store shelf prevents losses and enables targeted action to stop foodborne illnesses from reaching consumers.

Pork producers can make more informed decisions about product mix and inventory levels, reducing waste and supporting more accurate forecasts.

Authorities can more effectively enforce safety and quality requirements—and lay the foundation for improved industry self-governance.

Consumers can have greater confidence in the integrity of the supply chain and rapid identification of issues.

Globally connected supply chains represented $15 trillion in world merchandise exports in 2010.

Analytics-based systems like this are helping to deliver end-to-end visibility across the global supply chain—spanning perishable food, regulated medicines, high-value consumer goods and beyond. That means safer products for a healthier, more empowered population.