Walmart, JD.com, IBM and Tsinghua University National Engineering Laboratory for E-Commerce Technologies announced today they will work together in a Blockchain Food Safety Alliance that will kick off with a collaboration designed to enhance food tracking, traceability and safety in China, to achieve greater transparency across the food supply chain.
This has traditionally been challenging due to complex and fragmented data sharing systems that are often paper-based and can be error-prone.
IBM will provide its IBM Blockchain Platform and expertise, while Tsinghua University will act as a technical advisor sharing its expertise in the key technologies and the China food safety ecosystem. IBM and Tsinghua will collaborate with Walmart and JD to develop, optimize and roll out the technology to suppliers and retailers. Companies that join the alliance will be able to share information using blockchain technology.
Blockchain holds incredible promise in delivering the transparency that is needed to help promote food safety across the whole supply chain. This is a fundamental reason why IBM believes so strongly in the impact this technology will have on business models.
Bridget van Kralingen
Senior vice president, IBM Industry Platforms
IBM, Walmart and Tsinghua University have piloted the use of blockchain to trace food items, including pork in China and mangoes in the U.S. and it showed that applying blockchain reduced the time it took to trace a package of mangoes from the farm to the store from days or weeks to two seconds.
Recently, we have reported that Cargill and Nestle were planning to implement blockchain in their production.