When I started Safe Food En Route, LLC earlier this year after leaving my corporate position at The Kroger Co., I started researching blockchain immediately. I knew it could revolutionize the food industry because in 2017, I sat in a conference room with Kroger Technology team members, fellow food safety team leaders and procurement leaders to see a presentation about it and it caused the hair on my arms to stand up! The IBM technology sales team showed us how this new technology could take a traceability exercise on mangoes from a typical 7 day turn-around to 2.2 seconds. Seeing that potential in a technology, I knew this was something that needed to be embraced. So when I decided to start my business, Safe Food En Route, LLC, I started finding ways to incorporate this type of technology into my landscape of offerings.
It has been nearly 9 months since I left that corporate job and I am highly engaged in the food industry blockchain space. I have partnered with Primority to offer my clients a tool that is developed with blockchain technology in mind (and tangle technology). Being US Co-founder of the Global Food Blockchain Initiative collaboration LinkedIN group, I have been approached several times regarding this topic and I post regularly on LinkedIN about it. And what I have noticed is that every single time I post something on LinkedIN, I get a ton of interaction on this topic and not all of it is positive. I average 100-300 views per post and when I post about blockchain (here's an example), I get over 2000 views! It's a hot topic, to say the least. On these types of posts, there are several comments about needing the food industry blockchain to be inclusive of industries such as supply chain and freight carriers. And many more comments are made regarding the food industry embracing standardized document management. I have even written on this topic about needing the basics. And everyone is NOT wrong. In fact, everyone is right, but we have to start somewhere with this development and we need to find a place to do it.
EMBRACE AND COLLABORATE
IBM has already started selling their tool, IBM Food Trust, and companies like Walmart have already embraced this tool (we know what happens when Walmart gets involved - the entire retail sector will jump on board soon enough). So, we have no choice in the food industry but to start working on this tool as well. As an industry, we need focused, cross-functional collaborative efforts around defining standardizations with what everyone needs loaded to the tool. We all can spout off opinions on this topic, and we should! But we should in an effort to standardize together what we feel is important to manage the interactions that should be facilitated via blockchain. And here's the deal - Walmart's Food Safety VP, Frank Yiannis is moving on to the FDA at this point. And the FDA is exploring better recall technology according to THIS ARTICLE. It is coming..... Embrace it.
LET'S START THE DISCUSSIONS AND TAKE ACTION TOGETHER
There is work being done now by Hansonwade on an agenda for the Food & Beverage Supply Chain and industry leaders are on the list of invitations to be sent out soon. This event should be in late March 2019 in San Francisco and we would love for you to join us at this event to open the dialogue more on the topic. More details will be shared soon in the Global Food Blockchain Initiative and I'm sure in the Blockchain Global Network. Please join me and my technology partner, Primority founder James Flynn, at this event - we believe the line up is going to be very solid with a collaborative panel format for discussions and introducing us to the work that is already being developed.
And if you're looking for a vendor food safety compliance software tool, please click below to be taken to Safe Food En Route, LLC to learn about the tool we use. The developer is on the leading edge of these discussions about blockchain and is already looking at the future of where it should be headed.