Today VeChain announced that Walmart China is using its VeChainThor blockchain for food traceability. The collaboration also includes China Chain-Store & Franchise Association (CCFA), PwC and Inner Mongolia Kerchin. So far, 23 product lines have been tested and launched on the platform.
By year’s end, the project is expected to expand to more than 100 lines. It’s anticipated that traceable meat will account for more than 50% of Walmart China’s packaged meat. The aim is to enable consumers to scan a barcode and retrieve detailed product information. That will include the source of the product, any inspections, logistics reports and more. It will also ensure that customers can verify the authenticity of products, which is a significant issue in China.
Last year a joint study was conducted by giant online retailer JD.com as well as Walmart, Tencent and JD Daojia. It found that for online shoppers, a guarantee of product authenticity was increasingly the most crucial factor in buying goods. JD.com and Walmart have a tie up so that where consumers are close to 180 Walmart China stores if they shop on JD.com, the product will be delivered from Walmart.
“In the face of food safety, how to build consumer trust is a problem that PwC, our clients and partners have been trying to solve,” said Elton Yeung, Strategy and Innovation Leader, PwC Mainland China and Hong Kong. “We believe that Walmart’s Blockchain Traceability System will be an excellent example of blockchain technology applied in the retail industry.”
VeChain says the plan going forward is to synchronize data from local government traceability platforms as well as supplier platforms.
“Walmart has always worked to provide reliable products of quality and convenient services to customers, which is our core value proposition,” said Shi Jiaqi, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer of Walmart China. “We use digital methods to improve efficiency and transparency, providing products and services of quality to customers and making life better for busy families in China.”
Walmart is participating in several blockchain initiatives. It is one of the founding members of IBM’s Food Trust. It’s also participating in two FDA approved pilots for pharmaceutical traceability. One is with IBM and the other with MediLedger.
VeChainThor is a public blockchain which focuses on enterprise use cases. It has several high profile clients including BMW, certification company DNV, Chinese auto company BYD, and government-owned People’s Insurance Company of China (PICC). Additionally, it has close relationships with both PwC and Deloitte.