As part of its Food Traceability Initiative, Walmart announced this week that it will ask suppliers of fresh, leafy greens to trace their products all the way back to the farm using blockchain technology. 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. Using the IBM Food Trust network, “we have shown that we can reduce the amount of time it takes to track a food item from a Walmart store back to source in seconds, as compared to days or sometimes weeks,” the company said in a letter to suppliers. In a separate announcement, Dairy Farmers of America (DFA), a cooperative owned by dairy farm families across the U.S., said it has partnered with ripe.io, a food tech startup focused on using blockchain technology, on a pilot project 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,” says David Darr, vice president for sustainability and member services at DFA. The pilot project will leverage data from a group of DFA member farms as well as one of DFA’s manufacturing plants.
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