Walmart China has launched a blockchain-based platform aimed to address food safety concerns in the country.
Announced Tuesday in a press release, the Chinese arm of the U.S. supermarket giant said it has teamed up with blockchain project VeChain, PwC and others on the initiative, which comes as the latest in a line of food tracking projects launched by the firm.
The new Walmart China Blockchain Traceability Platform already boasts 23 product lines tested and listed, VeChain said, with another 100 planned by the end of the year across 10 product categories including fresh meat, rice, mushrooms, cooking oil and more.
According to the press release, by the end of next year, the firm expects to see the fresh meat products tracked on the platform accounting for 50 percent of its total sales in that category. Further, blockchain-tracked products will account for 40 percent of total vegetables sales and 12.5 percent of seafood sales.
By scanning the products with a smartphone, Walmart China customers can access detailed information, such as the source of the tracked products and geographic location, the route the product took to the supermarket, product inspection reports and more.
Elton Yeung, strategy and innovation lead at PwC Mainland China and Hong Kong, said in the release:
“We believe that Walmart’s Blockchain Traceability System will be an excellent example of blockchain technology applied in the retail industry, helping to improve food safety and quality management, and providing a strong guarantee for building consumer trust.”
It’s notable how many different blockchain technologies Walmart is now test-driving with the retailer’s various track and trace projects across a range of products.