Kvarøy Arctic Using IBM Blockchain to Trace Norwegian Farmed Salmon to North American Stores

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IBM (NYSE: IBM) and Kvarøy Arctic (pronounced “Kwa-ray”) recently announced the major producer of Norwegian farmed salmon will join IBM Food Trust to enhance the traceability of its salmon and help foster consumer trust across their supply chain.

Information source: Kvarøy Arctic / Press release

Kvarøy Arctic is enabling all corporate buyers, including select Whole Foods Market stores in the U.S. and Canada, and restaurants to scan a QR code which will provide a provenance history for the salmon and the feed it was raised on. They will also be able to download images and video of the farms and see for themselves the conditions and animal welfare standards that Kvarøy Arctic upholds. A consumer app to provide insight into the quality and sustainability of the seafood will also be made available in the future. 

In the past three months, Kvarøy Arctic has seen a dramatic increase in demand for fresh seafood in the U.S., shipping twice the volume anticipated at its February 2020 launch. In the previous year, demand for salmon grew even faster than the demand for beef and poultry as consumers increasingly look for healthier sources of protein. 

To help meet this need, Kvarøy Arctic has joined IBM Food Trust, an ecosystem of food producers, distributors, manufacturers and retailers collaborating using a permissioned, permanent and shared record of food system data stored on blockchain. Kvarøy Arctic is also working with its feed provider BioMar to begin uploading supply chain data to the network, creating an immutable record of the feed used and the conditions where the salmon was raised, packed, certified and shipped to distributors around the world. 

Kvarøy Arctic holds itself to high standards, for example using open ocean habitats that contain roughly half the population of conventional salmon farms. This gives them far more space to swim, and Kvarøy reports, ultimately results in a healthier, better-tasting fish. Kvarøy Arctic’s farms are also located in pristine ocean waters at the Arctic Circle, promote sustainable farming methods and are 100% certified by the Aquaculture Stewardship Council, an organization that identifies responsible fisheries using both environmental and social standards. Finally, Kvarøy Arctic’s Atlantic salmon is certified by the American Heart Association’s® Heart-Check Food Certification Program, giving consumers peace of mind that what they are consuming meets the nutritional requirements of the American Heart Association.

Blockchain has the potential to enable greater trust in the supply chain by creating a permanent, digitized chain of transactions that cannot be altered. This way, feed manufacturers, fish farmers, distributors and retailers can all access comprehensive product data in near real-time. Each member of the chain will download and use an app to scan each salmon lot at each point of receipt. Kvarøy Arctic can grant permission to distributor and retail partners, allowing them to see data about the grade of feed used, the population and density of the habitats the salmon were raised in, their age, harvest date and more. 

“Blockchain is the future when it comes to ending fraud in the seafood industry. It is a level of transparency that shows our dedication to being the best of the best,” said Kvarøy Arctic CEO Alf-Gøran Knutsen. “The technology tracks a level of detail that helps us reduce food waste so we can feed more people in the world.”

“Our work with Kvarøy Arctic further builds on our progress in promoting transparency and sustainability in the seafood trade,” said IBM Food Trust GM Raj Rao. “IBM Food Trust is delivering the tools needed to collaborate across industries and take the action to preserve and maintain our global fisheries, while protecting the integrity of the seafood supply chains.”

Several prominent members of the seafood industry are now using IBM Food Trust to enhance traceability for products ranging from shrimp and scallops to smoked salmon, including the Sustainable Shrimp Partnership, Raw Seafoods and Labeyrie Fine Foods. 

ATEA, a leading provider of IT infrastructure solutions in the Nordic and Baltic region, is also working with Kvarøy Arctic as the systems integrator.

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