Walmart, the American multinational retail giant plans to use a blockchain food supply chain solution for shrimp farming in India. The pilot project is taking place in Andhra Pradesh, the southern Indian state.
The move from Walmart assumes significance since blockchain could enable shrimp farmers in India to improve the supply chain traceability. It’s also important since it showcases the growing importance of blockchain in food supply assurance.
The global food supply chain market is large. Experts estimate that the food logistics sector alone will clock $150.7 billion in revenues by 2023, accompanied by a CAGR of 8.5% during the 2018-2023 period.
It’s a complex world out there for the food supply chain sector! The industry faces multiple challenges, e.g.:
- Lack of traceability;
- Inability to maintain safety and quality standards;
- Inadequate communication between stakeholders;
- Rising supply chain costs;
- Failure to track and control inventory in warehouses and stores.
The inefficiencies in this sector have a significant impact. E.g., wastage of food is a serious global problem, as experts estimate that food worth $750 billion is lost or wasted every year!
It’s becoming obvious that the existing technology solutions aren’t enough to transform this sector. This is where blockchain can make a difference.
A blockchain food supply chain solution for shrimp farmers in India
Blockchain with its transparency, decentralization, distributed ledger, security, and smart contracts can help. It can improve the traceability of the food supply chain. Its distributed ledger makes information sharing easier, moreover, smart contracts with their transparency and immutability can improve contract administration.
It’s no wonder that blockchain is attracting the attention of this industry. Industry observers estimate that the global blockchain in agriculture and supply chain market will reach $429.7 million by 2023. That’s significant growth from $60.8 million in 2018, with a CAGR of 47.8% between 2018-2023.
Andhra Pradesh, the southern Indian state is a key player in the shrimp farming sector. The state plays a key part in India’s considerable shrimp export to the US, however, the sector faces challenges.
The shrimp farmers in this state need to comply with the stringent traceability and quality standards in the US. This is important for these farmers to win the trust of American retailers and consumers.
Walmart intends to streamline the shrimp supply chain in this region with the help of blockchain. The pilot project is being executed on the IBM Food Trust, which is IBM’s proprietary blockchain food supply chain solution.
In addition to IBM, Walmart has included Sandhya Aqua Exports Private Limited, i.e., its Indian shrimp supply chain partner operating in Andhra Pradesh. Walmart has also included Stanley Pearlman Enterprises, Inc., i.e., its shrimp supply chain partner in the US.
The project should improve the traceability of shrimp sourced in Andhra Pradesh. Walmart will sell the shrimp in question in select Sam’s Club stores in the US.
A key blockchain food supply chain move
Walmart isn’t alone in using blockchain to improve the food supply chain. WWF is using blockchain to improve transparency in the Tuna industry.
However, Walmart has made key progress here, e.g., it’s planning to use blockchain to track live food. Walmart has also worked with its produce suppliers to deploy blockchain, therefore, we can expect that its expertise will help the shrimp farmers in India.