Walmart, JD, IBM and Tsinghua University Create Blockchain Food Safety Alliance in China

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by Svetlana Rud · 3 min read
Walmart, JD, IBM and Tsinghua University Create Blockchain Food Safety Alliance in China
Photo: Mark Deckers / Flickr

Walmart, JD, Tsinghua University and IBM announced creation of the Blockchain Food Safety Alliance, aimed at traceability and safety of food supply chain in China.

Retail giants Walmart, Chinese e-commerce company JD, Tsinghua University National Engineering Laboratory for E-Commerce Technologies and IBM announced creation of the Blockchain Food Safety Alliance.

The main goal of such cooperation is to improve food tracking in China, providing traceability and safety of food supply chain in real time due to blockchain technology.

“Blockchain holds incredible promise in delivering the transparency that is needed to help promote food safety across the whole supply chain. This is a fundamental reason why IBM believes so strongly in the impact this technology will have on business models,” senior vice president of IBM Industry Platforms Bridget van Kralingen said.

Four companies aim to implement a standards-based method of collecting data in order to provide to all participants of food supply chain greater insight and transparency of all steps in food movement, from the farm to consumers.

According to this cooperation, IBM will provide its IBM Blockchain Platform and expertise, while Tsinghua University provides technical support. IBM and Tsinghua University will cooperate with Walmart and JD in order to develop, optimize, and implement the technology to suppliers and retailers that will join the alliance.

“Partnering with IBM, Tsinghua University and Walmart, all global leaders in traceability, gives our customers and partner brands unparalleled accountability,” said Yongli Yu, President of JD Y, JD dot com’s supply chain research unit. “Throughout the world, and particularly in China, consumers increasingly want to know how their food is sourced, and JD is dedicated to using technology to promote complete transparency.”

In August 2017, IBM with collaboration of food giants, among those was Walmart, made attempt to explore how to increase global food, using blockchain technology. The usage of the IBM Blockchain Platform  should lead to food supply chains control and quick identification of contaminated products.

“Unlike any technology before it, blockchain is transforming the way like-minded organizations come together and enabling a new level of trust based on a single view of the truth,” said Marie Wieck, general manager of IBM Blockchain. “Our work with organizations across the food ecosystem, as well as IBM’s new platform, will further unleash the vast potential of this exciting technology, making it faster for organizations of all sizes and in all industries to move from concept to production to improve the way business gets done.”

It should be added, that Walmart was always interesting in implementation of blockchain technology in company’s operation. In October 2016, food giant partnered with IBM in order to use blockchain technology for digital tracking shipments of pork in China.

In May 2017, the company announced decision to use blockchain technology in order to track packages, delivered by unnamed drones. The multinational retailing corporation even applied for the patent to the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

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