United States Retail powerhouse WalMart and its division Sam’s club which is a membership-only retail warehouse club will require its leafy greens suppliers to put in place a farm to store tracking system based on blockchain technology. The end to end traceability system is based on distributed ledger technology developed by computer producing giants IBM. According to the Reuters report that revealed this news, Walmart will require its suppliers to implement blockchain technology by September 2019. Frank Yiannas, Walmart’s vice president of food safety stated that the giant retail outfit will require a similar traceability system for other vegetable and fresh fruit suppliers within the next year.
Walmart revealed to finance publication Bloomberg that it would require over 100 companies to implement the IBM blockchain service. According to the Walmart vice president of food safety Frank Yiannas, the implementation of blockchain technology, especially among the firm’s suppliers, will dramatically improve efficiency in operations. the Walmart vice president conducted a traceability test using sliced mangoes asking his team track the product back to the farm. It actually took them 7 days to complete the task since today’s tracking methods are antiquated.
Walmart claims that the process would take just 2.2 seconds to complete with blockchain technology. According to reports by Reuter’s US centers for disease control and Prevention (CDC) consulted with Walmart in order to improve product traceability so that health officials can easily track and manage the outbreaks of foodborne illnesses. The center for disease control has been quite busy recently with 5 people dying in the United States earlier this year due to an illness known as the E.Coli virus. The center for disease control estimated that over 200 people had acquired the infection in total.
The American retail giant has recently filed tech-related patents for numerous blockchain applications which include; boosting secure deliveries, healthcare information systems, managing of smart appliances among others. Walmart and some other nine companies penned a partnership with IBM back in June to release a blockchain based system for the tracking of food throughout its global supply chain. This move by America’s number one retail vendor will most definitely boost efficiency. The efforts by Walmart to infuse the blockchain into the supply chain will definitely fast track adoption and help the cause to push blockchain technology into new industries within a short period of time.