Walmart tests the benefits of blockchain technology on mangoes from Mexico

Walmart and IBM test a pilot project in the fresh mango value chain in Mexico with the support of Blockchain technology.

The Blockchain technology has come to revolutionize the food industry thanks to the solutions it provides. Walmart, the powerful retail chain; and IBM, have recently decided to pilot test the Blockchain technology in Mexico’s fresh mango and pork value chains.

According to a report by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the two companies joined forces to implement this initiative, in order to facilitate food traceability, support security controls and ensure food authenticity to reduce food loss and waste. As reported by the Mexican digital newspaper Opportimes.

The multinational retail corporation made the decision from the outset to test the project with fresh mangoes from Mexico due to the complexity of the value chain. The use of this disruptive technology reduced the time needed to trace the origin of a pre-packaged portion of the fruit from almost seven days to 2.2 seconds.

The article notes that blockchain technology allowed Walmart to track the speed at which mangoes moved through the supply chain and to identify where delays occurred.

According to the FAO, the technology allowed value chain actors to identify the exact path the product took from the farm to the shop.

FAO: A Step Towards Innovation

In this sense, FAO stresses the importance of innovative approaches and the application of digital technologies in the agrifood sector, as well as reducing the loss and waste of food, are vital in the fight against hunger and poverty, which was the motto, of the organization at the opening of the recently held virtual event on strengthening global governance of food security and nutrition, organized by the Committee on Food Security (CFS).

In this regard, FAO Director-General QU Dongyu encouraged the promotion of innovation and addressing food loss and wastage as areas of great importance.

„I strongly believe in the power of innovation and digital technologies as a central tool for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, in particular ODS2 (hunger) and ODS1 (poverty),“ he said.

The organization has already made great strides in helping its members drive innovation and now has a new Office of Innovation, where major macro initiatives have been introduced and where they have the first Chief Scientist in FAO’s history.

Walmart and the Blockchain

Walmart, the largest grocery retailer in the United States, has been entering the ecosystem of innovative blockchain technology for some time. Some of the experiences the supermarket network has had with the use of this technology and the benefits this technological disruption has brought to their supply chain have been mentioned above through Cointelegraph’s digital medium.

A recent example of this is the integration of Walmart China’s subsidiary, with the VeChain block chain, selected by the farmers‘ association in Italy to give traceability to the food supply chain.

This multinational retail conglomerate has also joined the Hiperledger open source chain consortium. In this regard, the vice-president of Walmart Global Tech, Sanjay Radhakrishnan, said that:

„We have seen strong results through our various blockchain implementations, and we believe that staying involved in open source communities will further transform the future of our business,“ he said to express his enthusiasm for joining the platform.

Meanwhile, in the People’s Republic of China, Walmart in a partnership with IBM and Tsinghua University, conducted a pilot program using Hiperledger’s blockchain technology to track the Chinese pork market, ensuring authenticity and origin.

Another of the retail chain’s experiences has been the registration of patents related to blockchain technology, a system that ensures the monitoring or tracking of packages by means of drones.

The encouraging results of Walmart’s experience with the blockchain technology have led this corporation to a constant technological update and implementation in different areas of the company, managing to expand the company’s capacity to track and monitor commercial transactions.