IBM is building a proof of concept of a blockchain for the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), the food safety supervisor of the US Department of Agriculture. UU. (USDA), which will help you evaluate how the blockchain can optimize export certification systems.
Confirmed by an FSIS spokesperson, the USD 269,450 blockchain viability assessment will look for efficiencies in a process afflicted by multi-country documentary regulations and requirements. FSIS is responsible for certifying that meat, poultry and eggs exported by the United States are suitable, which means that they are compared to US standards and, depending on the place, also with what is established by other countries.
FSIS inspectors verify documents, seals, sea containers and at least one sample of the export product against a broad set of standards, as shown in the inspectors’ training manual. The consequent manual and the digital documentary trail accompanies the products in transit.
The proof of concept will assess whether the blockchain can bring “greater immutability and visibility of critical documentation that crosses the supply chain,” said the spokesman, highlighting that FSIS will begin by studying the “commercial export process”. “This is the first time that FSIS has tried to use blockchain-based technology,” said the FSIS spokesperson.
The project built by IBM is part of a broader initiative to modernize FSIS imports and exports, according to the FSIS 2020 Annual Plan , in which the regulator first revealed the existence of the proof of concept without naming its private sector partner
FSIS awarded IBM a “proof of concept of a blockchain” contract worth almost USD 270,000 in August 2019. Its spokesperson confirmed that FSIS gave IBM the export certification study last year. .
The contract runs until June 2020. At that time, the IBM blockchain will help FSIS understand what role technology can play in the agency’s future, according to the spokesperson: “The intention of the proof of concept is to identify and quantify the potential benefits of the blockchain so that the agency can make an informed decision about the next steps.