Industry Insights · 10min read

3 Revolutionary Traceability Systems for the Food Industry

Zoom in on IBM Food Trust™, Provenance & Morpheus.Network

The term ‘traceability’ refers to a system that enables the ability to track a product from the point of production all the way through to the moment of consumption. From a technical perspective, traceability systems collect and record data points which allow actors in supply chains to track products’ movements through the entire value chain, both in real-time and ex-post. In the food industry, the importance of traceability lies in the ability to identify and optimise responses to potential risks in the event of contamination or outbreaks and facilitating overall transparency

Although Europe now boasts some of the world’s most stringent food safety standards and regulations, this wasn’t always the case. In fact, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) was only founded in 2002 as a response to a series of outbreaks of mad cow disease, salmonella, and botulism transmitted by foods. With a vast number of traceability systems available on the market, it can be challenging to decipher which offers the right service for your company’s needs. 

Zoom in on three groundbreaking traceability systems in the food industry and learn more about their technologies and services.


IBM Blockchain & IBM Food Trust

IBM Blockchain comprises networks across a wide range of global industries, including food, finance, and freight. Through IBM’s leading Hyperledger Fabric platform, businesses the world over are empowered to explore, envision, establish and evolve into smarter enterprises through digital solutions and transformation.

“From a food supply that’s becoming safer, smarter and more profitable to supply chains freeing themselves from legacy processes and paperwork, IBM is leading the business world into a new era of collaboration and innovation.” - IBM 

One such network is IBM Food Trust™—an open, flexible and self-governing cloud-based blockchain solution for actors in the food industry. Thanks to IBM, an ever-evolving and visionary ecosystem of growers, producers, processors, wholesalers, distributors, and retailers is spearheading traceability and visibility in the food industry. IBM Food Trust™ works toward optimising food freshness by measuring shelf life, combating food fraud by facilitating the elimination of fraud and errors, promoting food sustainability by guaranteeing the promised quality, and reducing food waste by contributing to the minimisation of so-called hot spots. 

Examples of established brands utilising IBM’s prestigious Hyperleger blockchain-based traceability system include Kroger—one of the largest grocery-based retailers in the US which utilises IBM modules to trace food from farms to shelves in order to identify which products are safe for consumption and which products needs to removed from circulation—and Farmer Connect a transformative tech company working to empower businesses in the food industry and foster connections along the supply chain.  

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Transparency forms the core of Provenance’s platform—the tech startup utilises blockchain and open data to collect and distribute product journeys and information in secure, trustworthy, and accessible ways. Today, Provenance offers its exciting range of services for different types of teams to over 200 food and drinks industry retailers and producers, including Unilever’s open-source finance model for farmers, Bridgehead’s new standards for coffee, and Pontino’s on-pack transparency for bread.

“We enable great brands to communicate the origin and impact of their products.” - Provenance

As a software platform, Provenance pulls information from brands and suppliers and collects brand, marketing, supply chain, and sustainability data to ensure all information is accessible and in one place. Companies can, in turn, utilise this data to communicate to shoppers clearly with the help of publishing modules. Provenance rounds these features off with proof points which connect business’s supply chain data with their messaging to foster trust, traceability, and transparency.

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Morpheus.Network is a supply chain platform working to transform and simplify logistics globally with the help of information security, blockchain technology, artificial intelligence, IoT, radio frequency identification and more. The platform’s services include contract automations, multi-flow payments, integrations, and layering technologies. Supply chain managers benefit from better visibility, thereby enabling them to optimise processes and save resources in a secure environment.

“From leveraging ERP data at production sites, to monitoring and integrating tracking in-transit, right through to the automation of document handling and real-time payments from customers, ultimately, the vision of a fully automated food supply chain is now a very real prospect.” - Nikhil Sethi for Morpheus.Network on 

Morpheus.Network is helping bring traceability and transparency to the food supply chain with its end-to-end tracking solutions and logistics providers’ APIs, which includes the likes of FedEx and DHL. Ultimately, the platform is working to ensure secure proof-of-provenance by analysing data sets in distributed ledger technology layers. This comprises food sensing technologies to improve food safety, mobile phone-based deliveries to decrease losses, use of big data and analytics to support farmers, real-time traceability to increase transparency and minimise waste, and blockchain-based traceability.

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For further reading we also recommend: 

Imagery: (1) Health Supplies Coalition, (2) Carson Masterson, (3) Launch Press, and (4) Clifford Photography for


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