Walmart, JD.com, IBM and Tsinghua University National Engineering Laboratory for E-Commerce Technologies announced a collaboration for blockchain technology in food safety. This collaboration will improve the transparency in food supply chain. This collaboration is designed to enhance food tracking, traceability and safety in China.
“As a global advocate for enhanced food safety, Walmart looks forward to deepening our work with IBM, Tsinghua University, JD and others throughout the food supply chain. Through collaboration, standardization, and adoption of new and innovative technologies, we can effectively improve traceability and transparency and help ensure the global food system remains safe for all,” said Frank Yiannas, vice president, food safety and health at Walmart.
These four companies will work together to make a standard of origin, processing and authenticity of foods using blockchain technology to make it real time traceable throughout the supply chain. Walmart is having large experience in supply chain of food items and including technology to get real time data will make it more efficient and effective.
Within the team, responsibility has been defined and each organization will handle its own part. For Example — JD.com and Walmart are expert in retail supply chain, they also work with different retailers and suppliers. So their responsibility is to develop, optimize and roll out the technology to suppliers and retailers that join the alliance. IBM is very strong in hardware and softwares so it will provide blockchain platform and Tsinghua University will be act as technical advisor.
“Partnering with IBM, Tsinghua University and Walmart, all global leaders in traceability, gives our customers and partner brands unparalleled accountability,” said Yongli Yu, President of JD-Y, JD.com’s supply chain research unit. “Throughout the world, and particularly in China, consumers increasingly want to know how their food is sourced, and JD is dedicated to using technology to promote complete transparency.”
“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,” said Bridget van Kralingen, senior vice president, IBM Industry Platforms. “By expanding our food safety work with Walmart and Tsinghua University in China and adding new collaborators like JD.com, the technology brings traceability and transparency to a broader network of food supply chain participants.”
“Tsinghua University is committed to in-depth research into food safety –one of the most important areas for improving quality of life in China and also around the world. We have already been working with IBM and Walmart to create a new model for food traceability, using blockchain to support supply chain transparency and auditability, and we see this new cooperation as an important next step in this endeavour,” said Professor Yueting Chai from the National Engineering Laboratory for E-Commerce Technologies, Tsinghua University.
The collaboration is designed in a way to ensure the data piracy for brands while helping them integrate their online and offline traceability for food safety and quality management channels.
Companies that are joining the alliance will be able to share the information using blockchain technology and will be able to choose the standard traceability that suits them best. This will bring more transparency in the supply chain and introduce new technology to food retail sector that are designed specially for them to ensure the food safety.