One of the world’s largest fruit and vegetable distributors, Dole has unveiled a five-year Blockchain plan for food safety. The Dole Food Company will launch product tagging and other advanced traceability solutions across its three business divisions which are; tropical fruits, fresh vegetables, and diversified products in a bid to enhance food safety operations by 2025.
The company in its sustainability report has unveiled plans to redesign how it traces its food. It prioritizes improving the speed with which it can identify trouble spots in the supply chain during a contaminated product recall, something it has worked on building on alongside the IBM Food Trust. The report said;
“Blockchain cuts the average time needed for food safety investigations from weeks to mere seconds. Produce that’s been logged via blockchain can be instantly tracked back through the supply chain, giving retailers and consumer’s confidence in the event of a recall.”
Plans to accelerate food tracing
Distributed data will improve the food tracking process according to the report. Dole also revealed that it had plans to trace its supply chain more from farm to shelf through scannable vegetable packages. The company said that it had already been doing that with its salad and fresh vegetable supply chain and that it had been sharing data already with its retail customers.
The 2025 goal comes nearly three years after the company began experimenting with Blockchain as a member of IBM’s food Blockchain consortium, the precursor to IBM Food Trust. According to the report, Dole is now working with another consortium member in Wal-Mart, to showcase blockchain’s potential “to bring about a step change in food safety.”
Government food watchdogs have not been blind to the Blockchain revolution. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) upcoming “New Era of Smarter Food Safety” blueprint will advocate for the implementation of “blockchain technologies,” according to FDA commissioner Stephen Hahn in a February speech.