Walmart wants its suppliers to use blockchain technology, to make it easier to track the origin of vegetables. That would make tracking any potential health hazards a much faster, simpler task. Not only that, but the information would be fully transparent, meaning everyone – including the shoppers, could track the origins of the things they’re buying.
At the time being, the company is asking nicely, but firmly. Writing a blog post on the matter, Walmart's Matt Smith expects its suppliers to have a blockchain system set up within a year.
It's seeing what the outbreak of E.coli or Salmonella can do, and it's not taking any chances.
“This change means that the information gathered by these suppliers will be open and accessible through technology that offers real-time, end-to-end traceability from farm to table,” Smith writes. “Blockchain allows for digitized sharing of data in a secure and trusted way.”
Blockchain is a technology that has become extremely popular lately thanks to cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin. Cryptocurrencies (for the most part) use the same underlying technology – blockchain, to operate.
It works on the principle of a distributed, secure ledger which would make it virtually impossible to tamper with the data, once it's written within the blockchain.
“Customers trust us to help them put quality food on their tables for themselves and their families,” said Charles Redfield, executive vice president of food for Walmart U.S. “We have to go further than offering great food at an everyday low price. Our customers need to know they can trust us to help ensure that food is safe. These new requirements will help us do just that.”
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