The four parties announced on Thursday that they will work together for the Food Safety Alliance in an effort to establish a connection between businesses and the food supply chain within China.
The Alliance will enhance food tracking, safety and traceability in the world’s most populous country thus achieving greater transparency rate across the food supply chain.
According to statements, the prime idea is to develop “a standards-based method of collecting data about the origin, safety and authenticity of food” among the companies involved, with blockchain providing a medium for recording information in real-time.
IBM and Tsinghua University National Engineering Laboratory for E-Commerce Technologies will provide their expertise as technical advisors.
Walmart already invests heavily in food safety research in China through its Walmart Food Safety and Collaboration Center. For Walmart, this project represents an expansion of its earlier efforts in the field. The retailer has collaborated with JD as well as IBM and Tsinghua University to promote food safety, in the past.
“As a global advocate for enhanced food safety, Walmart looks forward to deepening our work with IBM, Tsinghua University, JD and others throughout the food supply chain. Through collaboration, standardization, and adoption of new and innovative technologies, we can effectively improve traceability and transparency and help ensure the global food system remains safe for all,” said Frank Yiannas, vice president of food safety and health for Walmart.
JD.com, which has rich omni-channel food supply chain management experience, claimed more than 200 users as of September. The inclusion of China’s second-largest e-commerce firm is surely notable.
“Partnering with IBM, Tsinghua University and Walmart, all global leaders in traceability, gives our customers and partner brands unparalleled accountability,” said Yongli Yu, president of JD’s supply chain research unit. “Throughout the world, and particularly in China, consumers increasingly want to know how their food is sourced, and JD is dedicated to using technology to promote complete transparency”.
This effort in China, highlighting how blockchain technology will increase transparency and improve processes like recall and verifications will clearly boost consumer confidence in the technology as well as in the food supply chain.
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