Global retail giant Walmart hosted a presentation on its work with blockchain during an annual investor event last week.
The company began working with IBM and Tsinghua University of Beijing last year to test blockchain-based supply chain applications, with a particular focus on China's massive pork market. In follow-up statements, Walmart indicated it wanted to apply the tech to various areas – and more recently, CoinDesk reported the company is looking at blockchain as a tracking solution for unmanned delivery vehicles.
The results of the initial trial, though, will arguably set the tenor for Walmart's use of blockchain, and according to the firm, its food-focused testing has produced "very encouraging" results.
And this is only the beginning, according to Walmart, which said of the presentation:
"This is just the start of our blockchain exploration. We plan to continue to test the technology, by including more data attributes, for example. And we will continue to test how we can use it to improve food traceability and transparency by collaborating with others throughout the supply chain. This means farmers and suppliers and other retailers."
Walmart explained that the technology has helped it reduced the time it takes to track food from days to minutes, enabling more effective response in the event that tainted products are discovered.
"This will help enable precise and rapid recalls to preserve consumer trust in the food industry, while increasing traceability and transparency of the food system," the firm said.
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