Walmart pilots blockchain traceability project for seafood from India

Walmart Inc is piloting blockchain technology for end-to-end traceability of shrimp sourced from Andhra Pradesh and shipped to select Sam's Club locations in the United States.

The pilot project is the first known use of blockchain to track shrimp exports from farmers in India to an overseas retailer.

Walmart said the initiative will help seafood farmers in the region to strengthen the shrimp supply chain and reinforce customer trust in the product, helping promote India as a preferred source of seafood, while also enhancing food traceability and transparency for consumers in the United States.

Shrimp is India's largest agricultural export with the United States as its largest market, taking a 46 per cent share of India's shrimp exports by value in 2018.

In Andhra Pradesh, the heartland of shrimp farming in India, the state government is encouraging farmers to improve quality standards and comply with stringent US monitoring programmes to win the trust of US retailers and consumers and strengthen shrimp cultivation as a sustainable long-term growth industry.

Using blockchain technology in the shrimp supply chain supports this effort. Blockchain is a way to digitise data and share information across a complex supply chain network in a secure and trusted manner.

Walmart said in a statement that the introduction of blockchain in the shrimp supply chain can help improve the quality of information on the product for compliance purposes and for sharing with consumers, providing added traceability, beginning at the farm and extending throughout the transportation process. It can also monitor food safety procedures throughout the growth and processing of the shrimp.

For this pilot, the company worked closely with Andhra Pradesh-based seafood processor Sandhya Aqua and US-based supplier Stanley Pearlman Enterprises Inc to add the shrimp supply chain to the blockchain-enabled IBM Food Trust and create shared value for the entire shrimp farm-to-table continuum.