- Bumble Bee Foods has begun using SAP blockchain technology to track yellowfin tuna from the oceans where they're caught to the store where they're bought, according to a company press release.
- This will allow end consumers to scan a QR code on the packaging and receive information on where the fish was caught and the journey it made to get to the store.
- "It creates transparency and traceability across the food supply chain, from the ocean, across the cold chain, to the warehouse, store and our table," Oliver Betz, global head and senior vice president of SAP Innovative Business Solutions, said in a statement.
Bumblebee is the first food company to use SAP's blockchain technology. But it's far from the first example of food being tracked on the blockchain.
Multiple companies, including Walmart and Nestlé, have been working with blockchain technology from IBM called the Food Trust. Walmart is using the technology to track its leafy greens from the field to store, allowing it to pinpoint any batches that could be responsible for foodborne illnesses. Nestlé has tested it for tracking the ingredients that end up in its Gerber baby food products.
All of these implementations allow businesses to have better insight into the products they're selling, whether it's lettuce or tuna. But the Bumble Bee Foods use case takes it one step further: it passes all of this information along to the end consumer.
When consumers scan the QR code, it doesn't just tell them what ocean it came from and when it arrived. It also tells them the weight of the catch, the fishing community it was caught in, whether it's fresh, and if it is certified as fair trade. This kind of information can "support the consumer’s need to know and reinforce their faith in the brands they trust," Betz said.
Accenture and Mastercard are looking into an application for blockchain that would provide a similar level of transparency for end consumers, but, once it's in production, they envision it taking one step further: tipping. The two companies are working to make it possible to tip the producer who grew your coffee beans like you could a Lyft driver, from your smartphone.