In an effort to improve and modernize Chinese Food safety and tracking, Walmart, IBM, Tsinghua University, and The Chinese e-commerce group JD.com, are teaming up with plans to create the Blockchain Food Safety Alliance. Head of JD.com’s supply chain research unit, Yongli Yu, states that “Partnering with IBM, Tsinghua University and Walmart, all global leaders in traceability, gives our customers and partner brands unparalleled accountability” he continues on to say that “throughout the world, and particularly in China, consumers increasingly want to know how their food is sourced, and JD is dedicated to using technology to promote complete transparency.” The model that blockchain has to offer is what will allow access to critical information involving food management and the rest of the supply chain.
This information will be available to regulators, consumers, and suppliers. The Blockchain Food Safety Alliance will strengthen the food tracking system, filter out errors, and increase efficiency within the supply chain.
The Tsinghua University National Engineering Laboratory for E-Commerce Technologies is fully dedicated to improving the China food safety ecosystem and will play a large role in the development and optimization of technologies in the supply chain, working closely with IBM.
IBM will offer its expertise in the Blockchain platform. In China, Walmart is already heavily invested in the effort to optimize the food supply ecosystem. They have been working with JD.com, which is China’s largest e-commerce group. Walmart has a close link to suppliers, regulators, and other associated partners in the chain.
This link extends all over the world. With the two major entities working together, progress has been made in the form of artificial intelligence, the adoption of the blockchain platform, and improved technology to optimize the input and output of data. “As a global advocate for enhanced food safety, Walmart looks forward to deepening our work with IBM, Tsinghua University, JD and others throughout the food supply chain.
Through collaboration, standardization, and adoption of new and innovative technologies, we can effectively improve traceability and transparency and help ensure the global food system remains safe for all.” commented Walmart's Vice President of food safety and health, Frank Yiannas.
The food supply ecosystem was due for a change and the strength of these four companies banding together is what will get the ball rolling in the right direction. Outdated paper-based systems are prone to frequent error. New technologies can eliminate those errors and make a change in how date is stored, recorded, tracked, and shared. Transparency is the key focus in all of this. The idea is that every piece to the puzzle has the same amount of access to the same information in the chain they are all a part of. The implications of this alliance are huge.
Real change can be made for not only China, but for the rest of the world as well. The blockchain platform helps modernize and improve the way things are currently working, so that progress can be made without having to backtrack, correct and figure out what went wrong in the chain.