MasterCard Partners with Topco’s Food City to Offer Blockchain-based Seafood Supply Chain

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by Wanguba Muriuki · 3 min read
MasterCard Partners with Topco’s Food City to Offer Blockchain-based Seafood Supply Chain
Photo: Mastercard

MasterCard announced that it will use Envisible’s new Wholechain traceability infrastructure to create a blockchain-based supply chain to trace the origin of seafood sold at Topco Associates.

MasterCard announced that it is partnering with food track-and-trace software provider Envisible. Through that partnership, the companies will create a blockchain-based supply chain platform that will enable supermarkets to trace the origin of seafood sold at Topco Associates. Topco is a $14 billion food cooperative that is based in Illinois.

Envisible’s new Wholechain traceability infrastructure will be powered by Mastercard’s blockchain-based Provenance Solution service. Announced on October 27, Envisible said it is working with Mastercard to offer this tracking system. The service will provide grocery partners with more information about the ethical sourcing and environmental compliance of the seafood sold in their stores.

Wholechain got a major early client for the pilot program in the form of Topco Associates. Through that partnership, Topco will trace the origins of cod, salmon, and shrimp sold through its grocery stores. It is scheduled to start with Food City to ensure that they are compliant with environmental compliance and ethical sourcing.

The Participants

Topco has nearly 50 member-owners that include wholesale distributors, supermarkets, and pharmacy companies. All of them collectively turn over around $170 billion in sales as reported on its website.

MasterCard said that its blockchain does not just aim at the food industry.  MasterCard believes that this technology is a functional weapon against the raging trade in fakes in the fashion industry. It will enable supermarkets to trace their food sources which may prove critical in various situations. The senior vice president of fresh at Topco, Scott Caro, said:

“Given consumers’ expectations for reliable information about the food that they eat, we’re excited to partner with Food City and Envisible on this trace and provenance solution pilot and the promise of Envisible’s wholesale solution.”

Customers at the Topco stores will start seeing QR codes on seafood. They will then have the capability to access background information about the journey of the fish from the water to the store by scanning these codes using their smartphone’s camera.

Expansion and Operation

A Gartner vice president of research, Avivah Litan, said that MasterCard is attempting to position itself in the center of the lucrative $125 trillion business-to-business payment market. The company is establishing a foothold in one of the most promising and successful use cases for blockchain known as Provenance.

In this case, MasterCard will offer provenance for seafood that is prone to spoilage and should always be handled carefully while in transit. According to a 2019 Gartner survey that involved almost 850 blockchain projects worldwide, provenance and its integrated asset tracking use cases are gaining the most adoption.

The businesses on the Wholechain supply chain can also connect to MasterCard’s payment system via a set of APIs. Thus, they can track the shipments and pay for them as well using this technology. MasterCard’s payment system supports up to 25,000 payments per second. Litan noted:

“Blockchain has the potential to support much more efficient and rapid payments than is possible today on legacy networks. Blockchain also gives participants much-needed visibility into the end-to-end payment stream, helping to eliminate most of the time spent on costly disputes and resolutions.”

Envisible and MasterCard’s supply chain is an example of a hybrid blockchain. In this platform, B2B data is transmitted across a permissioned blockchain. The consumer-facing information resides on an open or public blockchain that is downloadable as a mobile application. Analysts believe that the hybrid blockchains will dominate the e-commerce arena soon.

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Wanguba Muriuki

Wanguba Muriuki is a content crafter passionate about putting everything into writing. He is passionate about Blockchain and Traveling. He is also an experienced creative and technical writer. Everything and everyone has a story to tell. What better way to capture the real story than in words.

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