What makes IBM Food Trust and blockchain right for food today?

It’s open, flexible and trusted

IBM Food Trust™ is the cloud-based blockchain solution providing an open, flexible and trusted way for members to share food data, derive value from the contributions of others, develop breakthrough functionality – and soon – choose where and how they deploy.

It’s comprised of companies like yours

Growers, distributors, retailers and others in the food supply have joined IBM Food Trust. Some of them are part of the IBM Food Trust Advisory Council, providing a guiding hand to make the world’s food supply safer, smarter, more sustainable, and more efficient – so we all benefit.

It’s permissioned and immutable

Blockchain delivers a new environment for sharing data where even competitors can cooperate. All participants can set custom access levels and collaborate securely – because with blockchain, data is digital, distributed and immutable.

It’s award winning and known for security

The security of Food Trust has been recognized by Constellation Research with the Supernova Award for Data-Driven Digital Networks (DDNs) and Business Models.

Governance designed to keep you in control of your data

With IBM Food Trust, you are in control of your data. What you upload is owned by you and may remain private. You determine who will – and who will not – have access to the data your organization reports.

Members that are granted permission to join IBM Food Trust share the goal of a better food supply for all. An Advisory Council comprised of a range of industry representatives helps set the rules of engagement for the blockchain community, ensuring that the solution benefits all.

Trust Anchors and the decentralized network increase security

Trust Anchors – leading participants in the IBM Food Trust network – are collectively responsible for maintaining the integrity of the shared ledger and assist with security, privacy and permission guarantees, for the entire community of members.

Every Trust Anchor receives a full copy of the encrypted ledger into their node. This allows them to see the blockchain hashes, verify events, view access logs of submitters and verify that data was not tampered with. However, that doesn’t give them access to the decrypted data, so Trust Anchors have access only to the data they are entitled to see.

Smart contracts: automating business decisions

Fundamental to blockchain

Smart contracts are designed to automate many of the costly, time-consuming processes that slow business down, through pre-set business rules and terms.

Important to the food industry

Examples include automatically monitoring expiration dates, storage conditions, batch numbers, and factory data to reduce waste; combining them with temperature sensors to build a globally verifiable ecosystem for product quality, and others.

Who can instantiate one?

Any IBM Food Trust participant can install a peer and instantiate a smart contract in a private channel to automate decision making between two or more network members. Every party in the smart contract must have their own node.

Where do they run?

Smart contracts run on company-specific nodes in a private channel, where only the parties interested in maintaining the contract have access, as data in that channel is not encrypted.

APIs for additional power and flexibility

Your enterprise can leverage a rich set of APIs to develop specialized capabilities that improve food traceability, consumer engagement, supply chain management, efficiency, dispute resolutions, inventory management, shelf life and much more.

IBM Food Trust has already developed several modules to deliver specific capabilities that enable you to create the IBM Food Trust you want. APIs are available as add-on parts to the existing subscription options.

Technical attributes that make IBM Food Trust right for your needs

Standards and interoperability provide a strong foundation

Interoperability for all food ecosystem partners enables connections across multiple levels. Connect with:

• existing data management systems. 
• future blockchain solutions.
• all industry standards and initiatives, including Produce Traceability Initiative GS1 (128-PTI).

Coming soon: Deploy on the platform of your choice

Later in 2019, deploy IBM Food Trust in your preferred cloud or on-premises environment, using the standard IBM Blockchain Platform for IBM Cloud Private – which includes blockchain software, services, tools and sample code to create, test, govern and manage your applications.


What are key responsibilities of a Trust Anchor?

Resource ownership
Run accounts in tamper-resistant Z Secure Service Containers that ensure encryption of data, both in flight and at rest.

Provide verification that events were submitted by an individual, with the corresponding hash.

Trust Anchors can be added as endorsers to incoming transactions, providing an additional level of trust for the submitting company, such as private-label brands.

Data extractions
In the event of an investigation, a member of the IBM Food Trust can use their decryption key and ask the Trust Anchors to extract the relevant data from the shared ledger and endorse its authenticity.

Do Trust Anchors have access to my data?

A Trust Anchor receives a full copy of the encrypted ledger on their own node. This enables them to see the submitters and hashes only, but not see the decrypted data. Seeing the complete data requires view access, which must be granted specifically by the data owner.

What is the Advisory Council?

The IBM Food Trust Advisory Council represents all ecosystem participants and food system stakeholders. Council members share, learn, discuss, prioritize and address the opportunities and challenges relevant to the food industry globally. They actively learn from each other and the market to provide meaningful direction to IBM Food Trust.

See Food Trust capabilities and buy

Build the Food Trust solution you want by selecting the capabilities you need. Have questions or need assistance? We’re here to help.