Walmart and its membership-only retail warehouse division, Sam’s Club, are to ask leafy greens suppliers to implement a real-time, farm-to-store tracking system based on blockchain technology.
According to a Reuters report, the initiative will go live next September. The announcement closely follows Walmart’s consultation with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to improve traceability of food products, thus helping public officials investigate and find the source of food-borne disease outbreaks. The US has seen several such outbreaks in the past few years.
Meanwhile, over in Europe…
Walmart is among several retailers looking to tap blockchain for the food supply chain. Dutch supermarket chain, Albert Heijn, is using the technology to make the production chain of its own-brand orange juice transparent.
It has rolled out a blockchain system in partnership with its supplier, Refresco. Through a QR code on the packaging, customers can track the entire route travelled by a bottle of orange juice.
Albert Heijn’s Commercial Director Marit van Egmond, says: “Every day we provide millions of customers with delicious food and drinks. That is a big responsibility. We want to make an active contribution on issues that are important to our customers – by making our products healthier, reducing food waste and limiting our impact on the environment.”
“Transparency in the chain is becoming increasingly important. We know all the steps that our products go through to ensure that they are produced with respect for people, animals and the environment and we want to show these steps to our customers, in an open and transparent way.”
Earlier this year, meanwhile, France’s Carrefour claimed a European blockchain first as part of its 2022 transformation plan.
The retailer is initially using blockchain technology with its free-range Carrefour Quality Line Auvergne chickens, with plans to roll it out to eight more animal and vegetable product lines, such as eggs, cheese, milk, oranges, tomatoes, salmon and ground beef steak.
“This is a first in Europe and will provide consumers with guaranteed complete transparency as far as the traceability of our products is concerned,” says Laurent Vallée, Carrefour’s General Secretary and Head of Quality and Food Safety.
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