United States Multi-national retail conglomerate Wal-Mart is embracing new technologies which includes Blockchain to deal with food safety issues. There are more than 6, 000 Wal-Mart stores that serve roughly 260 million patrons. This is a tall order especially when it comes to monitoring food sources, but Blockchain technology can make things easier for the retailer. In fact, Wal-Mart management can get important information like supplier details and food inspection reports. It will be easier to pinpoint the origin of a particular disease in just a few minutes. This facilitates a cost-effective system in removing contaminated products which can save lives and reduce expenditures.
Wal-Mart Takes on the Blockchain Platform
Last month, the leading retail corporation in the world partnered with another international company, technology firm IBM and Tsinghua Research University in Beijing, China to upgrade food safety at the People’s Republic of China. Wal-Mart is working with IBM to guarantee confidence of consumers in the food sector by preventing food adversities not only in China but other countries as well.
The Blockchain web-based ledger was meant to monitor the movement of pork products in the Chinese supply chain and make the procedure safer in one of the largest international meat marketplaces. Wal-Mart, together with its partners, is planning to develop a network that will link and check out suppliers, shippers and buyers of pork in China. These ledgers that support the crypto-currency can chronicle transactions related to sales and distribution of pork. These can protect against possible tampering as the products go through intricate supply chains to Wal-Mart outlets in this country.
At the same time, the University of Surrey (Southeastern England, United Kingdom) discovered that the Blockchain platform in the food supply chain is instrumental in reducing food waste. Wal-Mart’s decision to use Blockchain in monitoring food supply globally can turn out as one of the largest deployments of this technology both in food safety and wastage.
Wal-Mart is one of the latest to experiment with this platform hoping it can trace food by way of the supply chain to identify and take back spoiled commodities. Blockchain consists of a ledger of data mass which can be connected through validation cryptogram. The code references for each block create an uninterrupted and chronological sequence. Henceforth, all blocks are kept perpetually in the arrangement where these were added. This provides a kind of integral confirmation system which cannot be tampered with.
Blockchain technology was used originally to safeguard money transactions which led to the rise of the Bitcoin currency. This extended to logistics particularly the food source chain. The location, temperature and other data relevant to products can be documented using the Blockchain record book at every stage.
The Safety Factor
The Food Safety Collaboration Hub of Wal-Mart is looking to address all related problems. Together with IBM and Tsinghua Research University, it aims to create a unique model that will help trace food supply and ensure transparency. This shared venture will work with IBM and utilize the Hyper-ledger project architecture of Linux Foundation. Said institution is a non-profit technology trade organization with the mission of promoting and protecting technical cooperation as well as standardization.
A distributed ledger structure will ensure that food production is traced digitally in an absolute ecosystem. Monitoring includes storage temperature, details of farm origin, expiration dates, batch numbers, as well as other pertinent information related to food delivery.
Wal-Mart will make use of the hyper-ledger scheme to utilize the supply chain accord. All food item data will be inputted into the Blockchain platform through the supply chain. The collaborators believe the information is crucial to food safety concerns all over the world. According to representatives of IBM, any information published will be concurred upon by enterprises within said network to create a consensus. The facts and figures become a permanent record of the whole progression.
The distributed ledger is deemed beneficial to retail companies. Merchants will have the means to distinguish shelf life and other safety measures when it comes to management of the store’s food items. IBM management said the corporation is collaborating with China, retailers and scientists globally to set in motion the development of Blockchain technology. The platform is envisioned to become an instrument that will guarantee quality assurance for suppliers as well as consumers of food commodities.
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