Fresh produce on blockchain

While demand for fresh produce grows as people strive to eat healthier and look for more choice in their fruits and vegetables, the challenges around food safety and freshness persist. Across the industry’s highly complex, cross-border supply chain, challenges range from issues around the origins and quality of farm products to shrinkage and spoilage resulting from improper handling and storage.


of all produce from farmers goes uneaten, amounting to about $161B USD in waste.

Source: USDA

22 alerts

and fresh produce recalls and safety alerts were issued by the Food and Drug Administration in the U.S. in 2019.

Source: FDA

50% to 60%

of all fruits and vegetables on average are lost along the supply chain.

Source: Dr. Jean-Paul Rodrigue, “The Logistics of Global Food Systems”

How can IBM Food Trust help?

IBM Food Trust™ understands the challenges facing the fresh produce industry. That’s why we are dedicated to building trust and transparency and empowering seamless collaboration throughout the cross-border ecosystem with blockchain.

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Providing proof of origin and accelerated tracking

The Trace module enables end-to-end supply chain visibility, cutting the time needed to track a food source from days to seconds. Know the provenance of fruits and vegetables and their status to mitigate the spread of contamination and prevent waste in the case of a food borne illness outbreak.

Building consumer demand and brand trust

The Consumer module shares the journey of fresh produce. Connect shoppers to specific, permissioned information that helps influence buying decisions, such as origin, quality and sustainability practices.

Streamlining produce handling and reducing food waste

The Insights capabilities module provides near real-time supply chain data, including information on temperature and product movement. Leveraging blockchain and IoT technology, Hyper Insights enables better handling and transportation of perishable fruits and vegetables as well as dynamically optimizing inventory management.

Enabling reliable documentation across the supply chain

The Documents module allows participants to upload, manage, edit and share any documents along the supply chain. Improve information management, demonstrate organic and sustainability growth practices and show compliance with quality standards.

Use case

Enabling a global retail giant to trace leafy greens back to the farm

In 2018, a multistate outbreak of E coli-related illnesses linked to romaine lettuce started making headlines. Walmart had recently completed a food traceability pilot on the IBM Food Trust platform in which it reduced the time required to trace a box of mangos back to farm from 7 days to 2.2 seconds.

As a result of the successful pilot, the company sent a letter to all its leafy green suppliers asking them to join the IBM Food Trust-enabled Walmart Food Traceability Initiative. The goal was to have leafy green suppliers be able to instantaneously trace every product back to its farm, by production lot, within a year.

To help suppliers get started, Walmart worked with IBM Food Trust to provide education and onboarding support. Today, the majority of the retailer’s leafy green suppliers are using blockchain technology.

How blockchain will shape the future of fresh produce

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See how other people are already putting Food Trust to work

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