Walmart Urges Its Suppliers to Deploy Blockchain Technology

The American supermarket chain has recently announced that the company will use blockchain technology to its live food business and will need their suppliers’ full cooperation in adhering to Walmart’s blockchain policies. At the blockchain conference at MIT, Walmart’s vice president of food safety and health at Frank Yiannas says that the technology will enable both the company and the supplier to track food more effectively.

Pinpointing sources of contamination, reducing excessive food waste, preventing illness, and tracking food within a few seconds are all the perks that Walmart is looking to gain benefit from by using the tehnology. Yiannas said at the conference that this technology will be beneficial for both, the suppliers and their retailers.

Walmart began its exploitation of blockchain technology in 2016 where it explored into a number of blockchain schemes. Apparently, Tsinghua University in China and IBM has been helping Walmart in its journey to a better food tracking and tracing system.

The company’s upgraded platform has shown impressive results in monitoring the pork products sold to the Chinese outlets and the mangoes sold by Walmart in the U.S. Walmart recently announced that the company can now also track farm and factory information, use-by dates, batch numbers, shipping data, and storage temperatures.

Walmart has also been actively patenting its successful solution. Just this February, the supermarket giant filed for two patents that were related to solutions based on the blockchain technology. The solutions are a payment and courier system that enables automated package tracking and a system for payment processing related to shipment of fresh and preserved food.

In the application of the patent, the company mentioned the dire need to design an effective tool which will be able to provide greater security and tracking in the shipping packaging in which the items to be delivered reside. The application also notes that the existing delivery tracking and security systems do not provide such level of functionality. Seemingly, Walmart has exploited this lack of an efficient system and has named their system “Smart Package. The application was first filed the patent for “Smart Package” in August of 2017.

The blockchain technology has been very beneficial for a number of industries in the recent years. It is interesting to see how Walmart, one of the leading supermarket chains of the world, will reap benefits from the technology and will other supermarket giants follow suit.


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