Sustainable Shrimp Partnership Bringing the Power of Informed Choice to the Seafood Consumer

Guayaquil, Ecuador – The Sustainable Shrimp Partnership (SSP) has today launched a traceability application designed especially for consumers, which will enable them to access key information on their shrimp’s journey from farm to fork. The web application is connected to IBM Food Trust platform, based on blockchain technology, which ensures transparent data about the provenance and quality of the shrimp they buy.

Each package of SSP BLUE BOX shrimp is stamped with a QR code that consumers can scan and in matter of seconds get to know where, when, who, and how their shrimp was farmed and processed, and trace it in every stage so that they can trust they are buying a premium quality and a safe product.

 “The shrimp industry worldwide produces over 5 million tons of shrimp each year, and we continue to see many examples of food fraud, especially in seafood industry. So how consumers can trust that the products they are buying are safe for them and their families?” noted José Antonio Camposano, Executive President of the National Aquaculture Chamber from Ecuador. “This is how, using the most secure and latest technology available for food traceability and committing producers to the highest levels of transparency. This way the consumers acquire the power to make an informed choice and increase their capacity to buy healthy and responsibly farmed shrimp”.

SSP’s members, which include responsible shrimp producers based in Ecuador, will enter data about how the shrimp is produced onto IBM Food Trust, from its birth on the hatchery, how it is raised on the farm, processed and packed in the processing plant. Current members of the SSP that are connected to the IBM Food Trust platform and offering blockchain traceability includes Omarsa, Songa and Promarisco-Grupo Nueva Pescanova. The Blockchain Traceability Project was co-financed by The Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH), an SSP Advisory Board Member.

“The story of SSP shrimp deserves to be told so consumers can have total confidence and security about

what they are buying, but also to highlight the essential role of our producers: their dedication, effort

and commitment to farm shrimp applying the best practices, focused on being responsible with the ecosystem, their workers, communities and of course with their clients” added Pamela Nath, SSP Director. “When we say that SSP shrimp is raised with care for those who care, we truly mean it”.

IBM Food Trust provides a secured platform to which immutable data of SSP shrimp can be uploaded and share in real-time, and provides verification of the authenticity of the product, including that it is antibiotic-free, ASC certified and have neutral impact on the environment.

«IBM Food Trust mission is to enable producers, retailers and consumers build relationships based on data transparency, promote food safety and enhance the sustainability of our global food supply chain. SSP is a stellar member of the Food Trust network and a pioneer in the seafood industry for shrimp farm traceability and data transparency” said Raj Rao, General Manager Blockchain Platforms, IBM. “This instills greater confidence for consumers to choose high quality shrimp knowing its origin and that is has been sustainably harvested. We are confident that the Consumer App being released by SSP will raise the bar for the industry to embrace radical transparency.»

“With the complexity of current global food supply chains, visibility into where and how food is produced is necessary to understand the impacts on people and nature, but historically, this information has not been available” noted Blake Harris, Aquaculture Traceability Manager, World Wildlife Fund (WWF). “WWF is encouraged to see the SSP taking steps to utilize new technologies, like blockchain, to track this information electronically and share it directly with consumers. We hope the SSP’s leadership has a knock-on effect to drive industry-wide traceability and transparency efforts that are necessary for a more sustainable food system”. WWF is a Member of the SSP Advisory Board.

“The SSP exemplified that a data driven system is possible and can attract customers. Eventually blockchain will secure them of safe, sustainable, and traceable supply” said Lisa Van Wageningen, Program Officer Aquaculture, The Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH), SSP Advisory Board Member. “It is a very brave step. It is a group of companies working together to achieve traceability. That is incredibly special. The companies decided to not compete but to collaborate. It is an invitation to other producers to join them to the race to the top, and I hope that other producers accept this challenge”.

SSP shrimp is produced to the highest social and environmental standards – ASC certified, use of zero antibiotics, and with neutral impact on local water quality. SSP shrimp is the first shrimp products on the IBM Food Trust solution.