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Walmart Is Getting Suppliers to Put Food on the Blockchain


Camila Russo:

Walmart Inc. is getting suppliers to put food on the blockchain to help reduce waste, better manage contamination cases and improve transparency.

This is a really short article which is very light on details. It’s so short, in fact, that it’s hard for me to quote anything of substance without just including the whole thing. So instead I’ll just say this: blockchain seems pretty ideal for something like this.

There’s a standard called called BES 6001, which relates to the responsible sourcing of construction products. It mandates, essentially, that a single girder can be traced back through where it was smelted to the site the ore was quarried. There are similar standards for food and other materials.

That sounds onerous, and it is. But it’s also really useful. It makes it hard to cheat and use substandard materials. It also means that if a girder fails, you can find the entire batch and retest or decommission them. The flaw, of course, is that the records are only as good as the systems which are used to store them. So a tamper proof, trust minimised, distributed ledger is just the thing.