Walmart Further Embraces Blockchain Tech Now Applying It for Tracking Food

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by Sofiko Abeslamidze · 3 min read
Walmart Further Embraces Blockchain Tech Now Applying It for Tracking Food
Photo: Mike Mozart / Flickr

American-born retail giant famed for general endorsement of the cutting-edge technologies is welcoming a blockchain-based replacement of the outdated food tracking system.

Walmart Inc. is known worldwide and it does not come as a complete surprise. The corporation always stays focused on the technological novelty ready to disrupt the multi-billion retial industry. The robust blockchain technology in a row with other pillars of the forthcoming digital revolution including  prominent  AI and the IoT for a quite of time has been under Walmart’s direct supervision.

Being one of the first Walmart recognized the enormous potential hidden behind the blockchain applicability, which due to its advantages and pervasiveness has already picked up stream and seems like it will continue to long time to come.

Coinspeaker continually reported the never-ending blockchain patents filed by Walmart that is seeking to resolve various industry problems with the help of blockchain. So far the company has tried smart contracts and the blockchain technology itself for the improvement of secure deliveries, employee management and an innovative healthcare system.

Today Walmart struggles to defy an ineffective leaf green supply chain. Approximately at the same time next year, the producers of green vegetables working with Walmart will be obliged to integrate blockchain-based food tracking system devised in the Walmart’s collaboration with IBM Group.

Notably earlier this year, dozens of people across the U.S. got sick from eating contaminated romaine lettuce. The incident became a primary trigger for the escalating food safety policy that is said to prevent another foodborne illness like the E. coli outbreak affecting romaine. Here is where blockchain comes.

Walmart has sent a hundred of letters requiring all suppliers of leafy green vegetables to track their food with blockchain database within one year to improve food safety. The blockchain platform developed by IBM for Walmart and several other retailers exploring similar moves will make it easier for Walmart to source any food items quickly, with the release noting that tracing such items at present is “an almost insurmountable challenge.”

In a statement made the other day, the vice president of food safety for Walmart, Frank Yiannas claimed the technology is going to dramatically improve the supply chain efficiency that, in turn, will greatly benefit customers, saying:

“We’re committed to providing our customers with safe, quality foods. Our customers deserve a more transparent supply chain.We felt the one-step-up and one-step-back model of food traceability was outdated for the 21st century. This is a smart, technology-supported move that will greatly benefit our customers and transform the food system, benefitting all stakeholders.”

Yet Walmart is not a pioneer in its ambitions to apply blockchain to the food-tracking use case. Previously Big Blue has been applying blockchain technology in various supply chain scenarios including shipping, food and banking. Last August, IBM launched its blockchain food supply efforts via a collaboration with Dole, Driscoll’s, Golden State Foods, Kroger, McCormick and Company, McLane Company, Nestlé, Tyson Foods, Walmart and Unilever.

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