Walmart deploys blockchain-driven pilot to trace seafood from Andhra Pradesh

Walmart deploys blockchain-driven pilot to trace seafood from Andhra Pradesh
Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Reuters
7 Oct, 2019

Arkansas, US-based retail giant Walmart will implement a blockchain-driven pilot project to trace shrimp sourced from Andhra Pradesh and shipped to retail warehouse chain Sam’s Club in the US. 

The pilot project is the first known use of blockchain to track shrimp exports from India to an overseas retailer, said an official statement from Walmart.

Introduction of blockchain technology in the shrimp supply chain will help improve the quality of information on the product, and would also provide better traceability throughout the transportation process.  The pilot project also aims to help pisciculturists in the region strengthen the shrimp supply chain.

“We are committed to doing business in India in a way that helps drive economic opportunity in local communities across the country. Through this pilot we are working with our partners and leveraging our global strengths to provide access to blockchain’s innovative technology which will benefit local farmers and producers help to transform the food system and also provide a quality product,” said Paul Dyck, vice president of corporate affairs, Walmart.

The use of blockchain technology will support the Andhra Pradesh government’s efforts to help seafood farmers improve quality standards and comply with food safety monitoring programmes of the US in order to drive the growth of the shrimp cultivation industry in the state.

Walmart collaborated with Andhra Pradesh-based seafood processor Sandhya Aqua and American retail supplier Stanley Pearlman Enterprises to incorporate the shrimp supply chain to the blockchain-enabled IBM Food Trust.

The IBM Food Trust is a blockchain solution which connects farmers, processors, wholesalers, distributors, manufacturers and retailers through a tamper-proof, shared record of food origin, transaction data and processing details. 

By leveraging the pilot project, Sam’s Club, the members-only retail warehouse chain owned and operated by Walmart, will be able to digitise information and share data across a complex supply chain network in a secure manner.

The blockchain project also complements the food safety programmes of Sam’s Club, which requires seafood suppliers to acquire certifications such as Best Aquaculture Practice (BAP). 

Walmart provided funding to carry out BAP certification training for seafood farmers in Andhra Pradesh, the statement said.

The US accounts for 46% share, by value, of India’s shrimp exports. The introduction of blockchain would bolster India’s status as a trusted source of seafood, the statement said.

Recent developments on blockchain-driven operations:

Infosys subsidiary EdgeVerve Systems recently completed a global blockchain trade simulation process on its digital banking solutions platform Finacle. 18 banking groups from across the world participated in the exercise which simulated real-world digital transactions.

In August, Larsen & Toubro-owned Mindtree joined Hyperledger, an open-source blockchain platform. By leveraging the membership, Mindtree would be able to join industry-specific blockchain solutions. 

It was reported last month that seven banks joined the blockchain platform of American investment banking and financial services firm JP Morgan. The interbank information network (IIN) will help banks complete cross-border payments at a faster rate.