Walmart sends letter to leafy greens suppliers mandating blockchain
Walmart and Sam’s Clubs have sent a letter to their leafy greens suppliers asking them to install blockchain technology to track products back to the field. The company is expecting all its suppliers to have blockchain in place at this time in 2019.
“Walmart believes the current one-step up and one-step back model of food traceability is outdated for the 21st century and that by working together we can do better,” the letter said.
The letter noted that over the last 18 months, Walmart has collaborated with suppliers and IBM on pilot projects of new technologies. The work so far has demonstrated that significant improvements to food traceability are possible.
“Using the IBM Food Trust network that relies on blockchain technology, we have shown that we can reduce the amount of time it takes to track a food item from a Walmart Store back to source in seconds, as compared to days or sometimes weeks,” the letter said.
Implementation of the new technology will occur in two phases. Direct suppliers must convert to blockchain by Jan. 31, 2019. After that, suppliers will be expected to work with their partners in the supply chain to achieve end-to-end use of blockchain by Sept. 30, 2019.