American retail giant Walmart has continued its foray into blockchain technology with a pilot project that will track shrimp imports. The project will ensure end-to-end traceability for shrimp sourced from India, a report by Inc42 has revealed. The retailer, which is the largest in the world both by revenue and employee count, believes the use of blockchain technology will improve the quality of the product.
The pilot will focus on shrimp imported from the state of Andhra Pradesh in India to selected Sam Club’s locations in the United States. The membership-only store, which is operated by Walmart requires all its suppliers of seafood products to complete internationally-recognized standard best aquaculture practices (BAP). This standard has previously made it impossible for small farmers to supply to the retailer, but this is all set to change.
To further support the small farmers in Andhra Pradesh, Walmart intends to fund them so that they can acquire BAP certificates. It will also assist them to gain new market opportunities.
In a statement, the company noted, “The introduction of blockchain in the shrimp supply chain could 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.”
Walmart has partnered with Sandhya Aqua, a seafood processing company based in Andhra Pradesh and Stanley Pearlman Enterprises, a U.S.-based supplier.
Chowdary Kunam, managing director of Sandhya Aqua, commented, “This end-to-end blockchain pilot is the first of its kind in India and has the potential to create long-term economic opportunity for the shrimp farming community in Andhra Pradesh, directly benefiting the farmers through new skills training and development.”
The project could grow into a multi-billion dollar channel, especially since India continues to dominate the shrimp market globally. The Asian country exports most of its shrimp to the U.S., with the industry registering $2.17 billion in 2018.
Walmart has continued to venture into blockchain technology, with its projects ranging from supply chain management to stablecoin ambitions. The retailer already relies on blockchain technology to trace its leafy greens while also assisting the FDA to track prescription drugs on the blockchain.
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