The global food industry, a complex amalgam of producers, brokers, processors, logistics firms, wholesalers, distribution centers and retailers, faces unprecedented pressure. As the planet’s population grows, the industry struggles with rising complexity, regulation, data silos, ecosystem stress, and fraud.
Even in 2020, food imports continue to rely on paper records and fax machines, while in developed markets, data that could create significant efficiencies remains locked within disparate databases. And when foodborne illness triggers a recall, the forensic research required to identify and stop sickness takes weeks or even months.
Simply, this is a data problem.
The system is handcuffed by its own economics and risk aversion. Razor-thin margins discourage innovations that would lead to radical efficiencies. In the meantime, the outdated data environment contributes to us sending $1T of food directly from farms to landfills.
Four data improvements would create vast efficiencies that would reduce waste as well as billions of dollars in financial, reputational and health risk: 1) gathering more granular food data, more economically; 2) connecting the disparate systems that store that data; 3) sharing this real-time data with all supply chain participants; and 4) operationalizing the data via AI.
This is the Transparent Path opportunity.
Creating the most trusted, transparent and collaborative supply chain for food.
We are a team of commercial, operational and technology executives who care deeply about reducing food waste, food risk, and food insecurity.
Active in food- and health-related causes in our community, we are driven to bring our skills, experience, passion and focus to this issue, to scale our collective impact to feed a growing planet, more safely and more efficiently.
You can’t make good decisions with bad data. We want the truth — warts and all.
We do our best to keep our commmitments and own our issues and actions.
We believe in transparency and strive to always observe ethical business practices.
ACT AS A TEAM
Our success rests on scaling our strengths together, not separately.
We believe the UN Sustainable Development Goals are critical to the future of food.
We believe in the importance of interoperability and adhere to the GS1 data standards.
Protecting and securing our customers’ data is critical to our success.
We will achieve our mission through cooperation, shared standards and successes.
2017: Xerox VP Eric Weaver meets with colleagues at the company’s famed Palo Alto Research Center to discuss how PARC’s printed sensor technology could automate clean data entry into a distributed ledger.
APRIL: On-stage at the 2018 Global Blockchain Summit, Weaver announces the launch of Transparent Path, a startup combining IoT sensors with blockchain security. Initial mission: create better traceability for food products.
AUGUST: Weaver joins forces with software startup veteran Mark Kurtz. Transparent Path is accepted into the Microsoft for Startups and WeWork Labs accelerators. The two kick off a global speaking roadshow across the US, United Kingdom and Canada.
APRIL: Transparent Path and blockchain partner Penta Global kick off a pilot with Jack Brown Produce, one of Michigan’s largest apple packing houses. Sensors successfully track the provenance and conditions of Michigan apples from Jack Brown to US retailers.
JUNE: The team expands to add former Expedia and General Mills executive Mark Kammerer, former Amazon Logistics UX leader Paulé Wood, and McKinsey economist Dr. Badri Narayanan. Technical design begins on a much broader enterprise-grade platform.
FEBRUARY: Microsoft cloud services leader and machine learning expert Sunil Koduri joins as Chief Technology Officer; open-source development expert Greg Lind joins as Director of Platform Development.
APRIL: Transparent Path LLC converts to a Washington State SPC (“social purpose corporation”) to allow us to pursue our stated mission to “reduce food waste and risk” while also pursuing profit for shareholders.
We got our start during 2018’s awkward “blockchain for food” phase. Our original goal was to provide better traceability during recalls. But within a few months, we realized the opportunity — and the need — was much, much larger.
Blockchain is only one tool of several —and traceability is only one feature of several — that are needed to remove risk and uncertainty around food. We needed a bigger plan.