Walmart announced Sept. 24 that it will ask suppliers of fresh, leafy greens to trace their products back to the farm using blockchain technology.
“All fresh leafy greens suppliers are expected to be able to trace their products back to farm(s) (by production lot) in seconds – not days,” the company said in a letter to suppliers. “To do this, suppliers will be required to capture digital, end-to-end traceability event information using the IBM Food Trust network.”
Direct suppliers are expected to have these systems in place by Jan. 31 and all “end-to-end” suppliers are expected to comply by the end of September 2019.
Walmart has been working with IBM and food companies, including Dole, McCormick and Company, Nestle, Tyson Foods and Unilever, for more than a year to develop a blockchain-enabled food traceability network.
Meanwhile, national dairy cooperative Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) announced Sept. 25 that it is partnering with ripe.io, a food tech startup, on a pilot project intended to increase supply chain transparency and better connect farmer owners with customers.
“Consumers today want to know where their food comes from and blockchain technology, like ripe.io, gives consumers real-time data, which can really help increase trust and confidence about food production from start to finish,” said David Darr, vice president sustainability and member services at DFA, in a press release.
Blockchain technology and other digital innovations influencing the agricultural industry will be one focus of the NGFA’ s 47th annual Country Elevator Conference on Dec. 2-4 in St. Louis, Mo. During the conference, Janette Barnard, sales and marketing director at DecisionNext, will share her expertise on digital value chains in agriculture, including blockchain technology.
“As the flow of information through the value chain becomes increasingly valuable, capturing, transferring, and using data will be a critical evolution in the grain industry,” notes her presentation preview. “In this session we’ll explore the dynamics around this shift and the skills, processes, systems and tools from predictive analytics to blockchain that will enable first movers to gain an edge in this new digital world.”