Efforts using blockchain for food tracking have been under way at Walmart, Nestle, and other food industry companies since roughly 2018. A proposed FDA rule that is expected to come out in November of this year could facilitate the adoption of blockchain technology across the entire food industry.

Blockchain, the distributed ledger technology supporting bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, can also be used to track and govern transactions. And while the Food Safety Modernization Act Proposed Rule for Food Traceability wouldn’t require companies to maintain electronic records, it is believed that many would employ digital systems including blockchain to comply and track events from growing, receiving, transforming, creating and shipping food products. Walmart first tested the concept in 2017 to track leafy greens, including romaine lettuce and spinach. It has since added green bell peppers and other categories and expanded the list of suppliers it tracks from 12 to about 100. Walmart said a regulatory push may strengthen the case to scale blockchain-based food tracing.

We will be keeping our eyes out for the proposed rule in November and will report on its particulars once it is published. Food tracking and traceability is inevitable and food manufacturers would be wise to get out ahead of the rule.

 

The rule, which the FDA expects to complete in November, would require the food industry to maintain records associated with critical tracking events on the supply chain for certain products, according to Frank Yiannas, deputy commissioner for food policy and response at the FDA.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/fda-official-says-new-rule-could-boost-blockchain-based-food-tracking-11643711402?st=v4baut51gjr67vq&reflink=article_email_share