According to a press release by VeChain, it has revealed that Walmart China is planning to plans to track food through its supply chain with VeChain’s Thor blockchain. The press release also says that the Walmart China Blockchain Traceability Platform (WCBTP) is to be a joint venture between Walmart China, VeChain, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), China Chain-Store, Inner Mongolia Kerchin & Franchise Association. This initiative has been reportedly announced at the 2019 China Products Safety Publicity Week Traceability System Construction Seminar jointly organised by Walmart China and the CCFA in Beijing.
Walmart China has already revealed 23 product lines that the system will be tracking and they have further plans to release another 100 products, which will end up covering more than 10 product categories. The press release claims that the company expects that tracked sales will be significant in volume:
“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.”
VeChain is among the companies on the list of the first 197 companies that China’s cyberspace administration authorised as registered blockchain service providers, released in April.
As was recently reported, Walmart is not new to distributed ledger technology (DLT). It was way back in October 2016 that the company began working with IBM on a blockchain-based system to identify and flag recalled foods.
Walmart, since then has engaged in several DLT-related patents and trials — e.g., tracking meat in China, delivery drones, live food and patenting quick deliveries in the United States.