Walmart and its wholesaler, Sam’s Club, announced they will be implementing real-time, farm-to-store tracking. To do so, Walmart will be utilizing blockchain technology. They will begin their new procedures in the produce aisle. More specifically, with their lettuce products. This new development is a large step towards the prevention of food-safety incidents.
Tracking Lettuce Through Supply Chains
The goal of tracking food at every distribution point through the supply chain is to improve safety. Walmart didn’t act alone when announcing the tracking of lettuce with blockchain. The superstore consulted with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). With the ability to trace food comes more information about potential sources of food contamination and food-borne illness. Preventing outbreaks will not only assist the government and CDC, but could also limit food recalls and help Walmart save money in the long run.
Walmart is striving to improve their sustainable value chain through their “aspirational goals” of creating zero waste, having full operations of 100% renewable energy, and only selling products that sustain their own resources as well as the environment’s. Using blockchain technology could prove to be the most scalable way to achieve these goals.
Bigger Blockchain Future
Other large retail companies like Starbucks and Maersk have also announced that they are using blockchain to improve their businesses and environmental impact. What makes Walmart’s decision to track food with blockchain significant is their overall potential impact. Walmart is the world’s largest company by revenue. They have made the Fortune list for the 24th time and are number one for the sixth year in a row.
95% of U.S. consumers shop at Walmart or on their website each year. And one out of every four US grocery dollars is spent at the supercenter. This alone can indicate that Walmart has a serious impact. If Walmart and Sam’s Club implement blockchain to track lettuce and all other items they sell, the ramifications will be massive.