Raw Seafoods is joining IBM's Food Trust bloackchain platform to enhance seafood traceability.
"We are always actively engaged in helping our suppliers, retailers and restaurants deliver a product that's well above the industry standard for quality and freshness," says Daniel McQuade, Raw Seafoods Vice President of Marketing. "With IBM Food Trust, we found the perfect tool for establishing a direct link between the consumer and the captain of the boat that caught their fish, empowering shoppers and diners to demand more from their food supply chain."
A fleet of scallopers owned by Capt. Danny Eilersten of New Bedford, MA, will begin uploading data about their catch onto the platform, enabling distributors and retailers to identify exactly when and where a given lot of scallops was harvested. The platform will also track when the boat landed portside, and when each scallop lot was hand graded, selected, packed and shipped to its final destination. Once the information is uploaded, it will then be available to permissioned parties, including distributors, suppliers, retailers and their customers at point of sale.
The technology will address a number of problems that many believe why nearly 90% of Americans eat less than the recommended allotment of seafood. From widespread fraud and mislabeling, to the fact that nearly 80% of the seafood in the U.S. is imported, few consumers can trace where their seafood comes from.
"IBM Food Trust has helped some of the world's most respected food brands and grocers improve consumer trust, address inefficiencies, and promote supply chain integrity," says Rajendra Rao, General Manager of IBM Food Trust. "Traditionally, tracing the origin of a given food product could take days, if it was possible at all, especially for wild caught sea scallops. By reducing that time frame to a matter of seconds, we're able to solve three of the core consumer concerns that deter them from enjoying seafood: safety, sustainability and authenticity."
The US Atlantic sea scallop fishery has been independently certified as sustainable by the MSC Fisheries Standard and Raw Seafoods aligns with the MSC Chain of Custody Standard that promotes sustainable wild fish stocks. With immutable, geo-specific data shared through IBM Food Trust, fishing boats can now plan catches more strategically to meet demand.
Initial participants in the new ecosystem include Santa Monica Seafoods, one of the largest seafood distributors in the Southwest. Restaurants including TAPS Fish House and Brewery in Orange County, CA and Santa Monica Seafoods Market & Cafes will be among the first to serve scallops traced using Food Trust.
"This data will help us forge a more direct and fruitful partnership with the captains and crew that are harvesting the seafood we serve," said Tom Hope, Director of Food & Beverage at TAPS Fish House & Brewery. "Not only will the data help us be more strategic as a business, we think customers are going to love it."
Raw Seafoods also plans a consumer-facing app, connected directly to the Food Trust platform, which will allow consumers to access information about their scallops directly from the menu or point of sale in the retail locations by scanning a QR code.
The engagement was finalized in second quarter of 2019.