Restoring Faith in Seafood through Digitization
A fleet of scallopers are spearheading the digital initiative by uploading data of their catch onto the platform. Uploaded via satellite, it includes media of the produce, letting consumers see what’s exactly in their plate. In particular, the report includes seafood origins, hand grading and selection coupled with packing and shipping processes. Furthermore, Raw Seafoods’ sourcing partners, distributors, and retailers join the Food Trust, aiming to finally overcome industry problems.
Namely, mislabeling at a staggering 33% in retail results in mistrust, one reason why Americans don’t consume enough fish. Roughly 80% of the seafood in the United States is imported, or sent outside the country for processing. In turn, that coincides with the percentage of U.S. citizens not getting enough fish in their diet.
The Food Trust to Restore Safety & Authenticity of Fish Products
Rajendra Rao, General Manager of IBM Food Trust is no stranger to the issues the marine food industry faces. According to him, the platform helps “solve three of the core consumer concerns that deter them from enjoying seafood: safety, sustainability and authenticity.” In the first place, importance of food safety is implicit, leaving no room for weak links in the supply chain.
Now, with the immutable ledger signed by captains of fishing ships and sourcing partners, there’s less room for human error. More so, any damages resulting from inconsistencies are traceable to the responsible party. Each participant in the Food Trust can audit data gathered from I.O.T. devices, making for easier, more effective quality assurance.
The effect of linking their collaborators to IBM’s Food Trust reverberates across distributors and restaurants working closely with Raw Seafoods. Santa Monica Seafoods, one of the largest distributors’ boards the ecosystem, solidifying two pillars concerning seafood further, safety and authenticity. Therefore, the consolidated effort using trust-less blockchain technology improves seafood quality, hence restoring faith of the general American populace.
The Role of Technology in Sustainability & Efficiency
Needless to say, sustainability is crucial in an industry driven to the breaking point nearly 30 years ago by overfishing. Seafood companies relied on new technology and improved management to rebound, whereby the Food Trust carries on tradition. Catches of more than 50 million pounds annually gave the Port of New Bedford US fishing supremacy for 17 years.
In addition, US Atlantic sea scallop fishery’s dedication to sustainability earned them independent certification by The MSC fisheries Standard. Accordingly, by co-aligning with the MSC Chain of Custody Standard, Raw Seafoods promote sustainable wild fish stocks.
However, fishing ships can increase productivity, aided by geo-data retrieved from the Food Trust to devise strategies for catches. Real-time access to demand enables Raw Seafoods to prepare sourcing seafood in advance, with no detriment on the marine environment.
An Exclusive Experience in Restaurants and for Shoppers
TAPS Fish House and Brewery and Santa Monica Seafoods Market & Cafes embrace the blockchain-powered solution with high hopes. As Tom Hope, Director of Food & Beverage at TAPS Fish House & Brewery puts it:
“Not only will the data help us be more strategic as a business, we think customers are going to love it.”
Raw Seafoods Inc. acknowledges that an informed client is a client that knows best. According to Daniel McQuade, Raw Seafoods Marketing VP, the IBM Food Trust helps them in “empowering shoppers and diners to demand more from their food supply chain.” Afterward, they intend to launch an App, letting people access data about their scallops from menu’s or retail locations.
The App links the IBM Food Trust to the customer, providing an immersive experience and a “direct link between the consumer and the captain of the boat that caught their fish “- McQuade ends on a high note. The engagement was finalized in the second quarter of 2019.