Blockchain Food Safety Alliance Aims To Enhance Food Safety In China

Friday, March 16th, 2018 | 678 Views

Walmart,, IBM and Tsinghua University National Engineering Laboratory for E-Commerce Technologies are working together to form the Blockchain Food Safety Alliance. The group’s purpose is to enhance food safety, tracking and traceability in China.

Blockchain technology is a distributed digital ledger technology that uses cryptography and timestamps to provide a permanent record of various types of transactions. This technology powers Bitcoin, and the project plans to use it to achieve greater transparency across the food supply chain.

The four alliance members are working together to create a standards-based method for collecting data concerning the origin, safety and authenticity of food using blockchain technology to provide real-time traceability throughout the supply chain.

The goal is to stimulate accountability and give suppliers, regulators and consumers greater transparency into how food is handled from the farm ultimately to the consumers. This transparency has not been an easy proposition due to the complex and fragmented data sharing systems—many of which are paper based and prone to errors.

The members are working with supply chain providers and regulators to develop the standards, solutions and partnerships to enable a broad-based food safety ecosystem in China. IBM will provide its Blockchain Platform and expertise, while Tsinghua University will act as a technical advisor, sharing its expertise in the key technologies and the Chinese food safety ecosystem.

Walmart is working closely with suppliers, regulators, industry partners and the research community around the world. The company has invested heavily in food safety research in China through the Walmart Food Safety and Collaboration Centre. The retailer has promoted food safety through its own supplier network, as well as working with JD, which has broad experience in food supply chain management in China. Walmart and JD have been able to leverage JD’s expertise in the application of AI, blockchain, big data and other new technologies designed to protect consumers.