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IBM, Yara join forces on digitising food supply

IBM and Norwegian crop nutrition company Yara International have teamed up to develop a digital farming platform to help boost yields and quality – as well as secure the supply chain.

The platform – which will be offered worldwide – will apply artificial intelligence, machine learning and in-field data, and be integrated with IBM’s blockchain-enabled Food Trust network, which is designed to provide greater traceability and supply chain efficiency as well as ways to tackle food fraud, food waste and sustainability.

To get the ball rolling, Yara and IBM are setting up joint teams that will collaborate at digital hubs in Europe, Singapore, the US and Brazil. The teams will work closely with IBM researchers to develop new capabilities, and the first services are planned for end-2019.

According to IBM, the cloud-based Food Trust system – which is accessed as a monthly subscription service – allows customers to trace the location and status of food products from farm to storefronts. It tracks provenance and allows companies to share documentation such as inspection certificates and registrations.

Earlier this month, IBM started working with Ecuador’s Sustainable Shrimp Partners consortium to improve the traceability of the shrimp supply chain and protect the country’s premium, sustainably-farmed product, which is raised without antibiotics. Consumers can check the provenance of shrimp by scanning a QR code on the packaging.

The company has previously signed a string of partnership with food industry players for the service, including grocery stores Walmart and Albertsons in the US.


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