Walmart is supporting a new blockchain effort in China that pertains to food safety and traceability, reports suggest.

The initiative has been dubbed as the Blockchain Food Safety Alliance. It aims to facilitate relationships between the food supply chain business and the ability connect with each other in China in order to develop a means to obtain relevant data about the authenticity, origin, and safety of food products.

Blockchain will be used as a reliable platform to share data across all parties at once without having to create separate lists for each data entry. This would also ensure that all parties are looking at the same data at all times through distributed ledger technology (DLT).

Walmart is excited about the initiative

While sharing his comments with the press about this initiative, Walmart’s Vice President of Food Safety and Health, Frank Yiannas, stated that the organization aims to collaborate with its partners in order to adopt and standardize new technology which would allow them to improve the transparency and traceability of food products.

He further added that as a global advocate for enhanced food safety, they want to help ensure that the global food system remains safe for everyone.

This is not Walmart’s first rodeo in the blockchain industry either. In October 2016, the company announced that it was collaborating with institutions such as Tsinghua University National Engineering Laboratory for E-Commerce Technologies and IBM in order to run a program which aims to track pork products in a similar capacity.

For the Blockchain Food Safety Alliance, Walmart is going to partner up with the same institutions. However, along with Tsinghua and IBM, is also going to join the initiative this time around.

 JD.COM is just as enthused as Walmart is a giant in its own right. Having more than 200 million users as of September as a business-to-consumer e-commerce platform, it seeks to further increase its overall reach in the Chinese marketplace.

Yongli Yu, the President of JD’s Supply Chain Research Unit, shared that there’s an increasing demand of consumers that want to know how their food is sourced. “JD is dedicated to using technology to promote complete transparency,” he stated.

It is prudent to mention that, according to reported talks with the US government, plans to import $2 billion worth of food products from the US. This only goes on to hint that the company will have an extensive inventory for which it will require data management, and it seems not a lot of things could be more helpful than a new, blockchain-based technology that makes the management of that data a non-daunting process.

Looks like the strategic alliance that Walmart announced with the Chinese company a while back is developing further.


From financial institutions to countries and now to retail giants, it seems that blockchain is garnering positive attention from all over the world.

While this puts pressure on the technology and associated community to deliver the types of solutions that these vastly different industries expect from it, it also opens doors to new opportunities for the technology to grow from here.