The blockchain technology is, without a doubt, one of the most versatile inventions of our time. The way it has optimized and streamlined processes around the world has revolutionized entire industries, and one of the sectors that has successfully adopted is food production.
This week’s latest development on that front has Walmart China announcing plans to track food treatment and manipulation along the whole supply chain through VeChain’s Thor blockchain. The information came to prominence thanks to a press release published by VeChain.
Meet the WCBTP
According to the release, the Walmart China Blockchain Traceability Platform (WCBTP) will be a joint venture formed by several entities, among which are Walmart China, VeChain, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Inner Mongolia Kerchin (a cattle business,) and the China Chain-Store & Franchise Association.
The WCBTP was recently unveiled, at the 2019 China Products Safety Publicity Week Traceability System Construction Seminar, which was organized by Walmart China and the CCFA. It took place in Beijing, the Asian country’s capital city.
The retail giant has already unveiled 23 product lines that the new tool will track, with another hundred ready to be included in the near future as well. There will be 10 product categories covered by the system; one that customers will be able to take advantage of to ensure all of the items’ background is trustworthy.
According to the publication, Walmart China is expecting that tracked sales will be substantial volume-wise. “It is expected that the Walmart China’s traceability system will see traceable fresh meat account for 50% of the total sales of packaged fresh meat, traceable vegetables will account for 40% of the total sales of packaged vegetables, traceable seafood will account for 12.5% of the total sales of seafood by the end of 2020.”
Meanwhile, VeChain is lucky enough to be one of the few firms (197 in total) the Chinese government and, most specifically, the entity in charge of managing Internet and the cyberspace, has authorized to function as a registered blockchain service provider. The list was released a couple of months ago.
VeChain’s blockchain technology is “enabling Walmart China to implement a traceability strategy for products and pioneer the large-scale application of blockchain traceability. By scanning the desired products, customers can acquire detailed information, including the source of the scanned products and geographic location received by Walmart, logistics process, product inspection report, and many more data points. Data collection and data availability are to be continually added to the scale of the platform and its use of blockchain technology.”
It is not the first time that Walmart, one of the most famous and successful store chains in the world, has successfully experimented with distributed ledger technology (DLT.) In fact, it began collaborating with IBM in 2016, on the development of a system that could spot and flag recalled foods.
That was the start of a constant search of solutions through the DLT. Ever since that moment, Walmart has tried the technology to track meat in China, and pursue other projects.
Kevin Feng, Chief Operating Officer of VeChain stated that “as the world-leading enterprise-public blockchain platform, VeChain aims to empower enterprises in the large-scale digitization process by providing safe and mature blockchain deployment solutions and promote the wide application of blockchain technology. We achieve this while putting forward new insights for the development of the businesses’ ecosystems.”
He further added that “the launch of the Blockchain Traceability Platform by Walmart China, the world-class retail giant, is of great significance to the commercial application of blockchain technology. VeChain will work with Walmart China to actively take heed of the call of the government, by utilizing technology to promote the traceability of fresh food, and to provide innovative solutions for the traceability platform through digital technology, so as to generate more transparent and reassuring consumption experience.”
By Andres Chavez