Walmart Wants its Suppliers to Apply Blockchain Technology
American supermarket giant Walmart says it will apply blockchain technology to its “live food business,” and will require suppliers to adhere to its blockchain policies. Frank Yiannas, the company’s vice president of food safety and health, told at blockchain conference at MIT, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, that the technology will allow both the company and its suppliers to track food more effectively.
Yiannas says the development will allow the retailer and its suppliers to reduce the time it takes to trace its produce from six days to a mere two seconds. He also said, “[Blockchain technology] could aid in pinpointing sources of contamination, prevent illnesses and reduce unnecessary food waste.”
The supermarket began on a range of blockchain pilot schemes in 2016, working with IBM and blockchain experts at China’s Tsinghua University. Walmart claims that the technology could help it improve food safety and traceability.
Walmart’s platform has been used to monitor the pork products sold in its Chinese outlets and the mangoes it sells in the United States. The company says it can now track farm and factory information, batch numbers, use-by dates, storage temperatures and shipping data.
Earlier this week, the company filed two blockchain-related patents for a payment and courier system pertaining to automated package tracking and payment processing for shipments of fresh and preserved food.