Walmart to Use IBM’s Blockchain Solution for Food Traceability

American multinational retail giant, Walmart is in the process of implementing a blockchain based food traceability solution from IBM. The system will help the company’s suppliers to ensure adherence to food safety requirements.


Walmart, the US-based retail corporation is working with the IT solution provider IBM to implement a blockchain solution as part of the new food safety requirements for the company’s suppliers. Once the system is ready for release, suppliers of Walmart and its subsidiary Sam’s club will be implementing the solution. The software will help the company track, in real-time, supply chain from farm to stores.

Supply Chain Use-Case

Walmart has been working with IBM since 2016 to implement food supply chain solutions based on blockchain technology for improved levels of traceability. The company now intends to extend the system to reduce the incidence of foodborne diseases and minimize losses to retailers and suppliers.

Frank Yiannas, vice president of food safety for Walmart, says:

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 We felt the one-step-up, and one-step-back model of food traceability was outdated for the 21st century.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.

Walmart Blockchain

IBM’s Blockchain Offerings

The US-based IT service provider has been at the forefront of developing blockchain solutions for various sectors. IBM is a significant contributor to the development of the Hyperledger blockchain cross-industry platform. The supply chain is a potentially massive use-case for the implementation of blockchains and can bring considerable efficiencies in the process by facilitating real-time tracking of transactions and eliminating errors.

Since last August, IBM has been collaborating with various companies like Dole, Kroger, Golden State Foods, McLane Company, McCormick and Company, Driscoll’s, Nestlé, Tyson Foods, Walmart and Unilever on its food supply chain efforts. In the past, IBM has also partnered with shipping giant Maersk to explore the potential of implementing the technology in the logistics domain as well as many banks to build a blockchain-powered trade finance solution. The company has worked with more than 400 clients on solutions using the decentralized ledger technology.

Blockchain Industry Has Matured

The last couple of years have seen an increase in the pace of adoption of blockchain based technology solutions across different sectors and geographies. Large corporations like Walmart embracing the technology is undoubtedly a step forward towards mainstream adoption; this augurs well for the growing eco-system of the open-source distributed ledger technology, which has been buzzing with new projects and use-cases. The disruptive technology has matured over the last couple of years with solutions that address the earlier issues like scalability and privacy. IBM with its early lead has established itself as one of the preferred solution providers in the blockchain space.

Do you think Walmart’s adoption of blockchain based food supply chain solution will improve efficiencies? Is this the first step towards a more extensive implementation for its entire range of products? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.


Images courtesy of ShutterStock

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