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Walmart, Sam’s Club to put food products on blockchain

Customers wrap up their holiday shopping during Walmart's Black Friday events on Thursday November 27, 2014 in Bentonville, Ark. Deep savings continue at Walmart Friday though Cyber Monday as part of five days of events in stores and online. (Photo by Gunnar Rathbun/Invision for Walmart/AP Images)

(Reuters) – Walmart (WMT.N) and its unit Sam’s Club said on Monday leafy greens suppliers will be asked to implement real-time, farm-to-store tracking using blockchain technology by next September, as the retailer tackles food-safety incidents.

FILE PHOTO: A Walmart store is seen in Encinitas, California April 13, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo
Walmart is among several other retailers such as Nestle SA (NESN.S) trying to tap blockchain, a shared record of data kept by a network of computers to track food supply chain and improve safety.

Last year, Nestle, Unilever Plc (ULVR.L), Tyson Foods Inc (TSN.N) and other large food and retail companies joined IBM’s (IBM.N) blockchain technology project.

Walmart said on Monday that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has consulted with the company to improve traceability of food products to help public officials investigate and find the source of food-borne disease outbreaks.

The United States has seen several disease outbreaks in the past few years related to food products.

Oliver Smith

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