9/21/2018 – 9/27/2018
Walmart sets blockchain deadline for its leafy greens suppliers
As mentioned previously in a weekly wrap-up, more and more food brands and distributors are adopting or testing IBM’s Food Trust blockchain platform, for greater traceability and to ensure food-safety across their global supply chains. Retailer giant Walmart has been testing on the platform for the past 18 months, in an attempt to replace the outdated one-step up and one-step down model of traceability.
On Monday, the company issued a letter requiring all of its direct suppliers of leafy greens, such as lettuce and spinach, to upload their data onto Walmart’s blockchain systems by January 31, 2019. After the damaging impact an E.coli outbreak recently had on the romaine lettuce industry, which affected over 200 people and resulted in five deaths, the company highlighted the importance of quick results “in seconds not days” and end-to-end traceability. This requirement is one of the first made by Walmart that could benefit both the retailer and its manufacturers in terms of costs; being able to accurately pinpoint a product line’s exact origins could save other suppliers in the same industry from defamation or profit loss.
For more information on this, click here.
Amazon deceives thieves with fake packages
Theft is a massive problem for retailers, particularly those dealing with e-commerce. Losses caused by theft, fraud or errors, otherwise known as shrinkage, cost retailers almost $47 billion last year alone. For sizeable companies like Amazon, which delivers billions of packages annually, it is practically impossible for them to keep track of every individual package loss and to measure package theft. Retailers are therefore forced to find innovative ways of cutting shrinkage. For example, earlier this year, Amazon introduced an in-house or in-car delivery service for prime customers to reduce mail theft.
According to a Business Insider report this week, the company also takes controversial measures to tackle theft and dishonesty within its own logistics workforce. One of these methods includes the random assignment of fake packages to delivery drivers to test their integrity. These “dummy” packages are often left empty or weighted with worthless content, and are given a fake label. Delivery drivers are required to scan all of their package labels, so when a fake label is scanned an error message will appear. In theory, a driver can easily steal an error package because it will not be registered in the system, and can therefore go undetected. Drivers who don’t either alert their supervisor immediately or return the package to the warehouse after their shift are thereby deemed dishonest.
To read more about Amazon’s practices, click here.
80 Acres builds fully automated indoor farm in Ohio
80 Acres Farms has announced its plans to build the United States’ first fully automated indoor farm in Cincinnati, Ohio. The company hopes to have the farm up and running by the end of this year, to supply green produce to various retailers and distributors, including Whole Foods and Jungle Jim’s International Market. Once the 3 phases of construction are complete, the farm will cover a total area of 150,000 square feet. As part of its vertical farming method, the crops will be stacked to optimize space utilization.
The indoor farm will include a mixture of artificial intelligence, robotic sensors and other such tools to monitor produce and control the environment all year round, with limited human involvement. According to CEO and founder, Mike Zelkind, the farm’s produce can grow much quicker than in a traditional indoor or greenhouse environment due to these controlled environmental factors, and is manipulated to achieve the best level of nutrition and flavor. 80 Acres Farms is also ecofriendly as it uses a hydroponic, closed-loop water system, using 95% less water than regular farming. The company guarantees pesticide-free produce, uses renewable energy and only distributes locally.
Could this be the future of farming? Click here for further information.
Have a great weekend.