A high-tech fix for food contamination.
Eight percent of the world population—600 million people—falls ill due to foodborne illnesses every year, the World Health Organization estimates. Of that total, 420,000 people die. One reason alimentary ailments are so prevalent: It’s difficult to determine the source of foul foodstuffs. IBM aims to reduce the number of casualties by providing blockchain-based software that traces the flow of food—contaminated food, especially—before outbreaks can, well, break out. Begun in 2017, the IT giant’s “food trust” now tracks Walmart’s leafy greens, Driscoll’s strawberries, Nestle’s Gerber-branded sweet potato, apple and pumpkin baby foods, and more. The trust now includes more than 100 growers, producers and sellers (including grocery giants Walmart and Albertsons). The partners expect the technology will save both lives and, beneficially, more than $4 million annually through reduced spoilage and more-targeted recalls.
|Impact Segment||Public Health/Nutrition|
|Industry||Information Technology Services|
|Prior Year Rank||-|
|Revenues ($M) (Last Fiscal Year)||$79,591|
|Profits ($M) (Last Fiscal Year)||$8,728|
|Market Value ($M) as of 8/12/19||$118,415|