Bumble Bee, SAP Use Blockchain to Trace Tuna

Peter Breen
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Bumble Bee Foods is using a cloud platform blockchain service from SAP to trace the journey of the yellowfin tuna used by its Anova brand from the Indonesian ocean to dinner tables around the world. The announcement was made this month at the annual SXSW festival in Austin, Texas.

Bumble Bee and SAP have been working to improve seafood traceability as consumers increasingly demand to know their food is safe and sustainably sourced.

“More and more, our consumers and customers want complete transparency in food sourcing and safety,” explained Tony Costa, chief information officer at Bumble Bee Foods, one of North America’s largest seafood brands since 1899. “Thanks to blockchain technology, shoppers will soon be able to gain valuable insights about their fish and how it was sustainably caught by simply scanning a QR code on their mobile phones.”

With SAP’s blockchain technology, retailers and consumers will be able to easily access the complete origin and history of Bumble Bee Foods’ Natural Blue by Anova yellowfin tuna by scanning on-pack codes. The blockchain technology will provide instant information about the fish-to-market journey, including the size of the catch, the point of capture and the fishing community that caught it, as well as valuable insights to verify authenticity, freshness, safety, fair trade fishing certification and sustainability.

“With SAP, we have the ability to track fish the moment it’s caught and as it travels around the world, telling the story of each tuna while positively impacting ecosystems and the lives of the people all the way down the line,” said Costa (who is also a member of CGT’s Executive Advisory Council). “Bumble Bee has long been an industry leader in tracing its seafood products, and the addition of SAP’s blockchain technology allows us to further elevate our efforts.”

Blockchain technology lets companies store data and create a tamper-proof supply chain history that can be shared and seen by each participant. For Bumble Bee, blockchain is the safest possible way to share data between parties because it is incorruptible and verifiable. Bumble Bee is the first food company to incorporate SAP blockchain technology into its production.

“This solution is an example of how blockchains can be used to revolutionize the future of food,” said Oliver Betz, global head and senior vice president of SAP Innovative Business Solutions. “It creates transparency and traceability across the food supply chain, from the ocean, across the cold chain, to the warehouse, store and our table.”

SAP Cloud Platform Blockchain enables customers, partners and developers to conveniently use this distributed ledger technology. It allows enterprises to build new solutions, as well as extensions for existing applications across industries and lines of business.

Bumble Bee Foods’ Natural Blue by Anova fair-trade certified ahi tuna steaks can be found in 12-ounce bags at retailers nationwide including Albertsons/Safeway, Hy-Vee and Price Chopper. The company acquired the high-quality frozen brand in late 2013 through the purchase of Anova Food.