Common in the financial industry, blockchain is a tamperproof digital ledger that records each player and action throughout a process, making transactions safe and trackable. The transparency inherent in the system also makes each entity involved more accountable.
The Seam, a commodities trading and agribusiness software provider, sees an application for this technology in cotton trading and tracking along the supply chain. The solution? IBM’s Hyperledger Fabric blockchain technology.
“This new technology will be transformational for the cotton industry,” said Mark Pryor, chairman and CEO of The Seam. “There are numerous organizations, processes, systems and transactions involved from field to fabric. Situated at the intersection of agriculture, finance and technology, The Seam with the help of IBM, is uniquely positioned to introduce blockchain technology to cotton-affiliated businesses worldwide.”
Initially used for digital currency like bitcoin, blockchain is gaining in popularity in other industries. Last month, Walmart announced it would test blockchain as well, specifically in the Chinese pork and U.S. produce markets. Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it may use the technology to help securely transfer patient data between sources like researchers and developers.
For such a system to work though, it needs to be widely adopted; the more entities involved, the more robust and useful the system becomes. Seam is relying on IBM’s reputation and connections to build a consortium that spans cotton producing and consuming regions.
The ownership group of The Seam includes renowned cotton leaders Calcot, Cargill, ECOM Agroindustrial Corporation Ltd., EWR, Inc., Louis Dreyfus Company, Olam International, Parkdale Mills, Plains Cotton Cooperative Association and Staple Cotton Cooperative Association. In 2000, The Seam launched the first online, neutral trading exchange for cotton, and has since expanded into other industries.
Under Armour is jumping on the subscription box bandwagon and fulfilling the call for consumers who desire a monthly—or semi-monthly—activewear fix.Read more
Pakistan’s Punjab University has signed a memorandum of understanding to provide newly invented disease-resistant cotton seed to farmers in the country through seven multinational companies nationwide.Read more
FedEx Corp. has acquired Northwest Research Inc., a specialist in inventory research and management.Read more
Stitch Fix, which uses data analytics and personal stylists to offer curated apparel subscription boxes, has filed for an initial public offering.Read more
Rue21 named a new interim CEO and reorganized its board, while Céline's creative director is allegedly leaving the company.Read more
The apparel supply chain is emerging from the dark ages with on-demand manufacturing, data analytics and the digitization of the inspection process—and start-ups are leading the way.Read more
The U.S. Commerce Department has initiated antidumping duty investigations to determine whether imports of polyethylene terephthalate, known as PET, resin from Brazil, Indonesia, South Korea, Pakistan and Taiwan are being dumped in the U.S.Read more