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World’s First Seafood-Dedicated Blockchain System Launched

August 22, 2017

Earth Twine, a collaborative technology company dedicated to bringing leading edge technologies to bear on traditional food supply chains, and Stratis, a developer and provider of end-to-end blockchain solution applications, have partnered to launch The Earth Twine-Stratis Platform, the world’s first blockchain platform dedicated to the seafood industry.

Particularly Important

Although the launch of new blockchain systems within the food sector is always a newsworthy development, the launch of the Earth Twine-Stratis Platform is of particular importance because it will not only increase traceability and prevent fraud in a highly susceptible segment of the food space, but it could also prove a critical tool that will enable seafood industry players to comply with new industry requirements scheduled to come online in the near future.

In a move to combat the illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU)-caught or misrepresented seafood from entering the U.S. market, a Presidential Task Force was formed in June 2014 comprised of 12 federal agencies to develop a comprehensive framework to regulate the industry. On December 9, 2016, The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries published the final ruling that would create the Seafood Import Monitoring Program (SIMP).

Coming into effect January 1, 2018, the Seafood Import Monitoring Program will require U.S. importers of record to provide and report key data ranging from the point of harvest, to entry to the U.S. market for the most highly vulnerable species of seafood including abalone, Atlantic Cod, Blue Crab, Dolphinfish, Group, King Crab, Pacific Cod, Red Snapper, Sea Cucumber, Sharks, Shrimp, Swordfish, and five species of tuna.

The availability of the Earth Twine-Stratis Platform will provide a solution product that will enable all stakeholders in the seafood industry supply chain to more easily comply with these new regulations.

Working together, Stratis will create “distinct, dedicated blockchains, tokens and applications to integrate Earth Twine’s global seafood tracking solution onto the blockchain,” according to a recent announcement. The result of which will “transform the seafood industry by introducing unprecedented levels of trust, collaboration, and settlement, in turn, increasing productivity and sustainability.”

Becoming More Mainstream

Until rather recently the notion of blockchain technology was something vague and somewhat intimidating due to its ethereal and almost philosophical operating framework. However, the technology is rapidly becoming more mainstream, and its potential applications within agricultural supply chains are becoming more evident.

“Blockchain may seen like a toy for computer geeks, but blockchain has the potential to solve problems,” said Robin Lougee, research industry lead, Consumer Products & Agriculture, with IBM Research at GAI’s AgTech Week 2017.

In May of this year, OwlTing, a leading Taiwanese e-commerce platform that has built a reputation for safe food, announced the integration of blockchain technology into its supply chain, and the launch of OwlTing, the first Ethereum-based food provenance system.

“OwlTing consumers prefer natural and organic food ingredients, and they are willing to pay for high quality at reasonable prices,” said Darren Wang, the founder of OwlTing in a company release. “While most e-commerce platforms charge farmers with annual fees for product listing, OwlTing farmers pay zero annual fees and are only charged a low commission for each product sold on our platform.  We want to help farmers earn more, so they can invest in their future,” said Wang.

Blockchain technology has even made inroads in the  cannabis space. Paragon, a distributed ledger for the legal marijuana industry, has partnered with IOTA, a next-gen public distributed ledger that takes a unique approach to cryptocurrency and ledger technology, to create a fully verifiable traceability database for the cannabis sector.

Meanwhile, Walmart is partnering with IBM to integrate blockchain in order to increase the transparency and traceability of its food supply. The company is piloting a program that tracks and traces pork in China, and is planning a similar initiative in the U.S.

“As soon as you’ve picked that strawberry it starts dying, and your goal is to get that strawberry from the farm to the customer as soon as possible – so the more efficient you can do that the better,’ Frank Yiannis, VP of food safety with Walmart, told Computerworld UK.

“This food system of ours is a pretty complex food system,” said Yiannis, “there are a lot of actors and players in it, so we envision a blockchain solution for food transparency to be collaborative, and we want as many people in food production to be involved and engaged in that.”

 

-Lynda Kiernan

Lynda Kiernan is Editor with GAI Media and daily contributor to GAI News. If you would like to submit a contribution for consideration, please contact Ms. Kiernan at lkiernan@globalaginvesting.com.

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