​IBM, Walmart, JD.com and Tsinghua University eye blockchain for food supply chain safety in China

The four entities aim to create a standard for collecting data on origin, safety and authenticity of food using blockchain technology for traceability.

IBM, Walmart, JD.com and Tsinghua University said they will collaborate on blockchain tools for food tracking, traceability and safety in China's supply chain.

The four entities will work in a Blockchain Food Safety Alliance that aims to create a standard for collecting data on origin, safety and authenticity of food using blockchain technology for traceability. Real-time transparency has been difficult due to paper-based systems and multiple players in the food chain.

Here's how the work will be distributed:

  • Walmart, JD, IBM and Tsinghua University will work with regulators and the food supply chain to develop standards and partnerships for safety.
  • IBM provides its blockchain platform
  • Tsinghua University is the technical advisor and will provide expertise in technology and China's food safety ecosystem.
  • Walmart and JD will help develop and optimize technology that can be rolled out to suppliers and retailers.

Walmart, IBM and Tsinghua University have piloted blockchain in the food supply chain previously. The aim is to track food from farm to store in near real time.

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In August, IBM launched its blockchain food supply efforts via a collaboration with Dole, Driscoll's, Golden State Foods, Kroger, McCormick and Company, McLane Company, Nestlé, Tyson Foods, Unilever and Walmart.

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