Sponsor content from The Sustainable Shrimp Partnership

Shrimp tastes sweeter with blockchain-based traceability

Collaboration between Sustainable Shrimp Partnership and IBM sets stage for platform that leverages blockchain technology to track premium Ecuadorian shrimp from farm to fork.

Sponsor content from The Sustainable Shrimp Partnership
Written by
NHST Global Publications in collaboration with the Sustainable Shrimp Partnership
May 06, 2019

The Sustainable Shrimp Partnership (SSP) made waves in Brussels this week where it unveiled plans to launch a blockchain-based traceability platform in collaboration with IBM.

Joining the IBM Food Trust marks a major milestone in the broader quest to expand the presence of SSP’s premium Ecuadorian farmed shrimp in markets where consumer demand for sustainably sourced seafood and end-to-end traceability is on the rise, like the US and Europe.

Jose Antonio Camposano, executive vice president of Ecuador’s National Chamber of Aquaculture (CNA), praised the development in a statement issued on the eve of the Seafood Expo Global conference (SEG19) in Brussels, Belgium.

b244d0921d0284f7b89067885f823648 Camposano is one of the driving forces behind the SSP.

“Food fraud is on the rise,” Camposano said. “With complex supply systems and a global lack of transparency, we are seeing too many examples of mislabeling and poor quality products entering the marketplace. It’s time we change that.”

Consumers have a right to know where their food is from and how it was produced, Camposano continued.

“By using blockchain technology, we can provide complete traceability on our products and our practices,” he said. “For the first time, consumers can have complete trust and assurance on what they are buying.”

Transformative tech

The Food Trust system leverages blockchain technology to provide immutable, end-to-end traceability data in real time.

The platform will enable buyers, retailers and consumers to trace the journey of SSP shrimp from farm to fork and verify they have purchased a product that is antibiotic-free, from farms that have a neutral impact on local water quality and certified to the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) standard—the hallmarks of SSP's criteria.

“Our aim is to have SSP premium quality shrimp in supermarkets and on menus where the consumer can scan the QR code and find out which farm it is from, how it was farmed and key indicators on its food safety and sustainability profile,” said Pamela Nath, a director at SSP.

“SSP shrimp is farmed to the highest social and environmental standards and we want to ensure consumers have confidence in these commitments by providing complete accountability. We believe traceability is the future of responsible aquaculture and we are keen to pave the way for others to follow.”

Martin Hagelstrom, a block executive at IBM LatinAmerica, believes blockchain technology has the power to transform any industry—especially those with multi-stakeholder environments, like supply chains.

“Working with SSP and its ecosystem of suppliers, distributors and more, can help us ease the pain points of the food industry,” he explained.

Blockchain: Just another buzzword or the next big thing?

The UN Food & Agriculture Organization praised the potential of disruptive technologies like blockchain in its State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture report.

“The difficulty of corrupting information in the block chain strengthens the traceability of fish products along the value chain, which will enable more fisheries, aquaculture farms and fish processing facilities to meet import requirements such as the country-of-origin and phytosanitary standards of many countries,” the FAO said.

“Improved traceability will also make it possible to fulfill growing buyer demand for legally and responsibly sourced fish. In some fisheries and aquaculture farms, it will assist in meeting certification requirements.”

Aaron McNevin, the global network lead for aquaculture at the World Wildlife Fund who also serves as a member of SSP’s advisory board, noted that grocers can face “considerable blowback” from consumers when they lack detailed information about what they’re selling.

“When consumers find out that their grocers don’t know where or how their seafood they sell was produced, there will be considerable blowback,” he explained.

“What the SSP is attempting is to provide an immutable and incorruptible record of the chain of custody through a blockchain platform. This is the best available security measure to ensure product is segregated in a manner that retains its appropriate identity.”

The future is now

SSP at SEG19

Nath will be fielding queries about SSP-approved products during Seafood Expo Global in Brussels.

SSP-approved shrimp is produced to the highest social and environmental standards: it's ASC-certified, antibiotic-free and responsibly farmed with a neutral impact on local water quality.

The organization's premium farmed shrimp will be the first shrimp product on the IBM Food Trust solution.

IBM, SSP and its members—which include 11 farms operated by the likes of Songa, Santa Priscila, Naturisa, Omarsa and Produmar, among others—will be on hand to discuss their blockchain collaboration at SEG19.

To learn more about this, or the availability of SSP shrimp for purchase, email Pamela Nath to arrange a meeting during the expo or sometime down the road.

About this content

An advertiser commissioned this article, which was produced by the content marketing team at NHST Global Publications, the publisher of IntraFish Media.