When it comes to putting products on a blockchain, we’ve already seen some pretty whacky ideas. One firm has put all of its Thanksgiving turkeys onto a blockchain, so consumers can trace their turkey back to the farm it was reared on. Walmart has now decided to place its lettuces onto a blockchain in order to help trace back bad batches.
This year America saw a worrying E. coli outbreak occur. While Walmart managed to trace it back to the farm, it couldn’t identify the batches that were affected – meaning it had to pull thousands of lettuces from its shelves, both bad and good. By implementing a blockchain to trace lettuces from field to shelves, Walmart is hoping to save thousands of dollars in spoilt produce, as well as speed up delivery times – making your salad fresher than ever before.
Walmart Teams up with IBM
Walmart has teamed up with IBM to create a new supply chain tracking blockchain system. The new system is set to go live in early 2019 and it will help retailers trace products back to their origin within seconds rather than days. That saved time in produce traceability could be the difference between life and death for many people. During the E. coli outbreak five people died and over 90 were hospitalized. If those lettuces could have been traced back to the offending farm, the outbreak could have been stopped much sooner and less people would have been affected.
Robots Delivering Goods
The folks over at Walmart are truly future-proofing their business. In early September it applied for a patent that would enable robots to carry out deliveries, while tracking the shipments and ensuring the correct parcel is dropped off at the location. This new technology is sure to strike the fear of god into all that currently work in the delivery industry.
Wuchang Rice on a Blockchain
In the west, Walmart is putting lettuce on a blockchain and over in the east, China is putting Wuchang rice on a blockchain. The Wuchang province has decided to put all of its rice onto a blockchain to ensure that the final product that people are buying in shops is the genuine product. Wuchang rice is one of the most sought-after variants of rice in China, therefore it commands a relatively high price. Fraudsters have been trying to pass off their generic rice as Wuchang rice, to the point where the local government is tired of having their reputation for fine rice tarnished.
Walmart looks set to become one of the first retail giants to implement blockchain technology throughout the entire company. Blockchain technology has the power to transform businesses and industries, Walmart has realized that and is moving fast to capitalize on that new found knowledge.