NFI and IBM Launch Seafood Blockchain Traceability Pilot

The McLean, Virginia, USA-headquartered National Fisheries Institute (NFI) trade association is working with IBM’s Food Trust, blockchain-enabled system to begin a comprehensive seafood supply chain traceability pilot program. The work is the first multi company and seafood species effort. 

NFI members who represent harvesters, importers, processors, cold storage, foodservice restaurants and retail are all involved in the program.

“We are excited that NFI and the real seafood value chain will test IBM’s technology,” said NFI President John Connelly.  “NFI members’ supply chains are dynamic and wide reaching, a fertile ground for this type of pilot.”

Financial support for the work comes from the Seafood Industry Research Fund (SIRF.) 

“Traceability is nothing new to the seafood community but blockchain is,” said SIRF Chairman and Fortune Fish & Gourmet CEO Sean O'Scannlain.  “Whether it’s farmed or wild, we will test how IBM’s Food Trust can help seafood businesses generate revenue and reduce costs, from harvest to distribution to our customers.”  

The system ensures companies can set rules about who can see the data they upload and for how long and that they maintain control of their data even after it has been uploaded to Food Trust. 

"Blockchain technology has the potential to transform any industry, especially when we have multi-stakeholder environments, businesses and organizations participating,” said Raj Rao, general manager of IBM Food Trust. “Blockchain can digitize information, capture it in a decentralized system and convey it in a secure way and allows for permissioned viewing rights. We are delighted to work closely with NFI, and the seafood industry in this pioneering endeavor.”

NFI and SIRF hope the new technology will help increase transparency, optimize supply chain processes and combat fraud.