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Hyped Up? Blockchain, the Fresh Food Supply Chain and Why a Hybrid Model is Best

You can’t go a day without a story about blockchain in the press. Despite the hype, blockchain merits a discussion and serious consideration as the upside benefits for its use and application in the fresh food supply chain are significant. But, at this point, is blockchain a technology looking for a problem to solve or a way of solving a known problem? Why is a hybrid model the best approach?

Blockchain Technology Could Bring Visibility, Efficiency and Security

“While the United States has a “very trusted” food supply chain, certain parts have less reliable information than others,” says Peter Mehring, CEO of Zest Labs. “Seafood has been one area of concern; it can also be challenging to confirm the validity of organic and locally grown products. Even among big brands, seasonal outsourcing of cultivation or manufacturing can lead to inconsistencies. “Getting product-level visibility is the ultimate goal, but we don’t know many retailers that are getting that today. There are some inconsistencies and overlapping data,” Mehring says. “And while they have trusted partners, you don’t know how reliable that is from day to day.”

IoT Gains a Foothold in Food Supply Chains

When it comes to IoT and the fresh food supply chain, there is much to do because we’re still seeing 30 percent to 40 percent food waste levels post-harvest, and half of this waste is occurring before food even gets to consumers. Food wholesalers and retailers can improve their profit margins and reduce food waste by 50 percent or more by using more IoT sensors and real-time analytics for food tracking and monitoring.

Blockchain, Transparency and Food Safety

The Food Safety Modernization Act has mandated certain levels of traceability. However, exactly what form those records take, how they are stored and importantly, how they are shared is up to processors. Peter Mehring of Zest Labs says to take advantage of blockchain, processors first need to collect quality data on their products. Zest does this by using sensors that automatically log things like when products are shipped and at what temperature the products are kept.

Where to Start: Blockchain’s Role in the Fresh Produce Supply Chain

When it comes to hype, it’s hard to beat blockchain. You can’t go a day without a story about it in the trade or business press. Despite all the hype, blockchain merits a discussion and serious consideration as the upside benefits for its use and application in the fresh food supply chain is significant. But, at this point, is blockchain a technology looking for a problem to solve, or a way of solving a known problem? And, how does implementing blockchain relate to your existing business processes? Can or should blockchain replace your current systems or is a hybrid model the best? Where should you start?

Have You Set Your Blockchain, Waste Reduction Goals?

2018 could be the most challenging year yet for the grocers, manufacturing and growers alike. With new competitors, tighter margins, sustainability goals, food safety concerns and the evolving shopping habits of today’s consumers, retailers have their work cut out for them navigating the competitive landscape successfully throughout the year. Join the complimentary webinar by registering here.

4 Ways IoT Data is Decreasing Commercial Food Waste

There are plenty of bright spots where purposeful IoT shines and companies are benefiting. One story worth telling is about progress being made in the food industry, which, according to one 2015 report, loses $160 billion a year in waste. “We’re still seeing 30-40% food waste levels post harvest, and half of this waste is occurring before food even gets to consumers,” said Peter Mehring, CEO of Zest Labs, which provides food supply chain technology solutions.

Cold Chain on the Brain

There are plenty of trends to follow in the decade ahead including preserving the planet by reducing waste. One thing all of the trends have in common is that they’re directly associated with the perishables supply chain. Moving forward retailers will need to take a much closer look at how their supply chains operate to keep up with demand.

Zest Labs Joins The Western Growers Center For Innovation And Technology

Zest Labs has become a member of the Western Growers Center for Innovation and Technology (WGCIT) in Salinas, Calif., operated by Western Growers. The WGCIT was created to help identify priorities in the agriculture industry, discover technologies to address those priorities, set up testing, facilitate industry feedback and communicate progress to fresh produce farmers in California, Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico.

What You Need to Know About Blockchain

As a food retailer today, you face myriad challenges, but few probably keep you up at night more than food safety concerns. Fortunately, there is a new technology with the potential to accomplish this: blockchain. Blockchain can improve transparency, trust and safety within the food supply chain. And when properly implemented, it can also help to improve the delivered freshness of perishable food and reduce waste.

Hy-Vee tests fresh food traceability

Hy-Vee is conducting a trial of the Zest Labs Zest Fresh solution to help automate farm-to-fork traceability of fresh produce coming to Hy-Vee stores. Hy-Vee is testing Zest Fresh, a freshness management solution that leverages the Internet of Things to autonomously track and report in real time the freshness of products from harvest to the retail store.

Hy-Vee Tests Produce Freshness Tracker

Hy-Vee is testing Zest Fresh, a technology designed to calculate and communicate the freshness of produce items as they move through the supply chain. Data gathered include temperature, time from cut to cool, time in the packinghouse, time in transit, humidity and more, according to Zest Labs.

Hy-Vee Automates Produce’s Farm-to-Fork Traceability

Midwestern grocer Hy-Vee is conducting a trial of a new solution to help automate farm-to-fork traceability of fresh produce coming to its stores. Partnering with San Jose, Calif.-based software company Zest Labs, the retailer is using the Zest Fresh solution to make sure it provides a vast assortment of high-quality natural, organic and locally sourced products – and ensure that customers understand the sources of the food they purchase. The solution is claimed to reduce grocers’ waste from spoilage by more than 50 percent.

Hy-Vee Tests Fresh Food Traceability With Zest Labs

Zest Labs is working with Iowa-based independent grocer Hy-Vee on a trial solution to help automate farm-to-fork traceability of fresh produce coming to Hy-Vee stores. Zest Fresh is a freshness management solution that leverages the Internet of Things (IoT) to autonomously track and report in real time the freshness of products from harvest to the retail store.

Hy-Vee is making fresh even fresher

Hy-Vee is leveraging new technology to ensure food quality and transparency throughout its supply chain. The company is deploying Zest Fresh to autonomously track and report in real time the freshness of products from harvest to the retail store, in its work with a premium supplier of seedless Holiday grapes, a premium product that is exported all around the world.

Hy-Vee tests produce freshness tracker

Hy-Vee is testing Zest Fresh, a technology designed to calculate and communicate the freshness of produce items as they move through the supply chain. Data gathered include temperature, time from cut to cool, time in the packinghouse, time in transit, humidity and more, according to Zest Labs.

Hy-Vee and Zest Labs Tests Fresh Produce Traceability

Zest Labs and Hy-Vee Inc. are partnering to bring farm-to-fork traceability of fresh produce to Hy-Vee’s 245 retail stores in the Midwest. Zest Labs’ Zest Fresh autonomously tracks and reports in real time the freshness of products from harvest to retail store, wielding the industry’s first freshness metric to provide retailers like Hy-Vee with traceability data and continuous real-time visibility of the remaining freshness capacity of fresh produce.

Blockchain + IoT: Creating True Transparency Within The Food Supply Chain

While there isn’t a silver bullet when it comes to eliminating foodborne illnesses or contamination recalls, by implementing a solution using IoT and blockchain technologies in tandem, we can more efficiently track produce handling and quality, and make educated, proactive decisions about what food should make it into consumers’ homes.

How Technology Is Reducing Food Waste

Zest Labs is helping to improve the efficiency of the supply chain and help people make smarter logistics decisions.

Bagged Salad: Only as Fresh as the Weakest Ingredient

With food waste at an all-time high, real-time tracking and predictive analytics can improve visibility and decision making within the supply chain and create less waste. …

Consumer interest in transparency puts new demands on processors

A seismic shift has happened in the food and beverage industry—consumers have gone from being passive to very much being in the driver’s seat, calling the shots on what they want. They want to know all the details about a food or beverage product, from A to Z, including what it contains, where those ingredients are from, how the product was processed, how it was handled in shipping and how long it’s been sitting on that shelf …

Zest Labs brings IoT and blockchain to the fresh food supply chain

With all the hype around blockchain, it’s a technology that’s still finding its feet when it comes to wide, mainstream adoption. Therefore it’s not every day when you come across a company that uses both IoT sensor technology and the blockchain to solve a common agricultural problem. …

How one company uses Internet of Things sensors and big data to combat food waste.

Food waste in the United States is a seemingly intractable problem, with some reports stating that about half the food produced in the U.S. is not eaten. The wastage amounts to billions of dollars in losses, and the Environmental Protection Agency says as much as $160 billion worth of food each year ends up in a landfill instead of an American stomach. …

These high-tech sensors track exactly how fresh our produce is so we stop wasting food.

We throw out over 30% of food because it goes bad before it’s supposed to. A data-driven tracking technology from Zest Fresh is ensuring food stays fresh in transit–to cut down the amount we waste. …

Using the Internet of Things to reduce food waste.

The USDA estimates that more than 30% of all food products in the United States are thrown away, costing the nation more than $161 billion per year.  This is often due to an inefficient supply chain that struggles to keep produce cool, and therefore fresh enough, from farm to store. …

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What do you rely on when you buy groceries to make sure you’re buying food that won’t go bad the day after tomorrow?

Sell by dates? Trust in your grocer? Sniff-n-buy? Good luck with that. We knew when we bought food from a farm that it was harvested that day so we could assume how fresh it would be when we brought it home. …

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This is why we curse in the kitchen.

You buy the most beautiful fragrant strawberries figuring you’ll make strawberry ice cream or maybe strawberries and shortcake but when you take them out of the fridge the next day to get started, half the berries are furry! This is why we curse in the kitchen. …