Walmart and IBM partner to make China’s pork market safer

Announcements | October 20, 2016 By:

Walmart has partnered with IBM to implement blockchain technology for food safety.

Teaming up with Tsinghua University in Beijing, it is hoped that by digitally tracking the movement of pork in China on bitcoin’s underlying distributed ledger, it will prevent food disasters such as those that have been reported in China.

The collaboration of Walmart, IBM and Tsinghua University takes advantage of the distinctive strengths of each member of the team. Scientists from IBM Research – China are among the leading edge technologists at IBM now in the forefront of the rapid evolution of blockchain. Working alongside top talent in transaction security and authentication technology from Tsinghua University and with Walmart’s expertise in supply chain, logistics and food safety, they are creating a new model for food traceability, supply chain transparency and auditability using IBM blockchain based on the open source Linux Foundation Hyperledger Project fabric.

“Advanced technology has reached into so many aspects of modern life but it has lagged in food traceability, and in particular in creating more secure food supply chains. Our collaboration with Walmart and Tsinghua University is a step of global significance to change that,” said Bridget van Kralingen, Senior Vice President, Industry Platforms, IBM. “Food touches all of us, everywhere, so we are experimenting in China with Walmart and Tsinghua given the size and scale of food consumption in this country.”

In addition to announcing the blockchain-based pilot program, Walmart opened a food safety collaboration center in Beijing on Wednesday. Walmart vice president of food safety Frank Yiannas said that if the supply chain pilot program is a success, then Walmart will consider expanding trials to include more foodstuffs.