Walmart Joins the Food Trust Blockchain to Track Food Supply Chain
According to a report on June 25 by the Wall Street Journal ( WSJ ), nine companies have partnered with IBM in order to release a blockchain named The Food Trust Blockchain for tracking food globally through its supply chain. And now Walmart has joined in.
The Food Trust blockchain, which includes Nestlé SA, Dole Food Co., Driscoll’s Inc., Golden State Foods, Kroger Co., McCormick and Co., McLane Co., Tyson Foods Inc. and Unilever NV, have been collaborating with IBM on the initiative since 2016, and began conducting trials of the product in August last year.
The goal is to improve the company’s ability to identify issues involved with food recalls, such as tracing outbreaks more quickly to limit customer risk.
Walmart’s vice president of food safety, Frank Yiannas, called Food Chain as “equivalent of FedEx tracking for food.” He said:
“You’re capturing real-time data at every point, on every single food product.”
Companies involved are no doubt competitors in some cases but regardless they are working together to ensure the trust of customers.
The Food Trust System stores the data of about 1 million items.
When the E.coli-contaminated romaine lettuce in the US infected more than 197 people across five states, the blockchain was not yet ready to track it down.
Yiannas said that even if the food industry takes years to completely adopt blockchain, in the future “outbreaks don’t have to be this big and this long.”
In April, Walmart had announced that it is all set to use blockchain for its live food business. The company has recently been awarded a patent for blockchain chain use for medical records as well and has filed a patent for a blockchain-based customer marketplace for reselling Walmart goods.
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