On September 24 of this year, Walmart's suppliers of green vegetables received a letter stating that, starting that month, Walmart would require they have a traceability system that would allow tracing their product (lots of products) to the garden in seconds and not days. To do this, they added, suppliers would be required to capture traceability event information in an end-to-end digitally, using the IBM Food Trust network. This means that the companies that wish to supply Walmart must have this system or they won't be able to sell their products in that chain.
According to Horacio Arias, the co-founder of Business Blockchain, this is a growing trend at the international retail level and could also impact the fresh fruit sector; an industry that, according to Arias, still doesn't make use of systems, such as the food blockchain, to respond to retail requirements.
"The Chilean industry has a very important gap in this technology. For example, before starting our presentation we asked the participants if they knew what the blockchain is, and only 20 percent of the attendees had heard about it. This is key. If the retail sector of the United States, especially Walmart, required its vegetable suppliers to implement this technology in September, with a deadline to have the system installed on January 30, 2019, it means the large retail chains, such as Carrefour and Walmart, will also demand this technology, as it is a top priority to meet the safety needs that the world is demanding. On the other hand, we see that fruit and vegetable suppliers almost don't know anything about this technology. Therefore there is a knowledge gap that we have to close," said Horacio Arias, the co-founder of the Business Blockchain, during the last breakfast seminar of PMA Chile.
Arias said that the food blockchain behaves as a platform where each piece of traceability data is recorded. That this data can't be modified, as if it were, it would be recorded in the system. It emerged as a tool to solve business problems that previously had no solution due to the inability to share information in a transparent, immutable, and reliable manner.