TBSx3, the Australian start-up committed to restoring trust to international trade using blockchain technology, has partnered with leading Food Safety services group Alimentex to secure the future of food safety and reduce the impact of life threatening contamination.
The recent E coli contamination of romaine lettuce in Arizona in the US reached 35 states and led to the deaths of five people in the largest breakout of its kind in over a decade. This demonstrates once more the urgent need for food businesses to invest in sufficient traceability methods to protect both consumers and their brands.
"A blockchain solution - which offers a swift, accurate, and completely reliable source of proving facts about the contaminated items - could have identified E coli affected product in hours or even minutes, instead of days or weeks. We see the potential of this technology to serve both communities and businesses across the world, and this partnership is about realising that potential," says Mark Toohey, Founder and Director of TBSx3.
As a pioneer in food quality and safety standards, Alimentex will provide TBSx3 with extensive Food Industry Compliance expertise, consulting to the blockchain startup as it revolutionises the global food sector.
"The recent Romaine Lettuce E coli contamination event in the United States highlights the risk food businesses expose themselves to when they can't quickly trace affected food products. We're working closely with TBSx3 to find solutions for businesses that reduce exposure to significant cost and brand damage in situations where they have to recall all of their products, rather than just affected products," says Aron Malcolm, Managing Director of Alimentex.
Earlier this year in Australia, a crop of melons contaminated with listeria sadly led to the deaths of six people. As demand for melons plummeted by 90 per cent nationally, farming families lost their livelihoods and were forced forced to lay off staff.
"The listeria outbreak became a crisis for every melon grower in the nation; the sales of an entire national crop was affected, much of it left to rot in fields, destroyed or sold at throw-away prices. The confidence provided by rigorous blockchain based traceability systems could have dramatically lessened the impacts upon the Australian melon industry." says Toohey.
Using TBSx3 developed technology, every single food item can be assigned a unique identifier that is recorded as it moves through the entire supply chain, from farm to consumer. By checking the blockchain ledger, contaminated food can be located in a matter of seconds, revealing which farm supplied the produce, and on which store shelf it now sits.
"The unique synergies between TBSx3 and Alimentex will bring immeasurable value to the global food sector by merging food industry expertise with emerging technologies. Food businesses of any size and scope can benefit from the collaborative efforts of TBSx3's platform and the Food Compliance expertise of Alimentex to protect consumers and solidify confidence in the brands of food businesses around the globe," says Malcolm.