Largest US-based Retail Food Group Purchasing Organization to Test Mastercard’s Blockchain Tech to Streamline Operations

Topco Associates, the largest US-based retail food GPO (Group Purchasing Organization) and the third largest private firm in Illinois, is preparing to test Mastercard’s blockchain-based technology to streamline its operations.

Topco is planning to pilot a traceability platform created by Envisible, a logistics company. According to a press release, the Wholechain platform has been developed using Mastercard’s blockchain-enabled Provenance Solution. 

Topco intends to use the platform to trace the origin of produce, meat and seafood products. 

Blockchain technology has been used to improve various food industry processes by several established companies. 

Giant American retailer Walmart recently started using blockchain technology to track Indian shrimp supply chains. Notably, it’s the first time that distributed ledger technology (DLT) has been used to track the shipment of shrimp from India. In June 2019, Walmart’s China division began tracking food items through its supply chain with VeChain’s Thor blockchain platform.

The American retail company has said that blockchain tech allows the company to ensure quality by being able to recall bad products more quickly.

In August 2019, the largest Swiss supermarket chain and retailer Migros revealed that it was planning to use TE-Food’s blockchain-powered food traceability platform for its products. 

Alex Manders, head of blockchain solutions at Information Services Group (ISG), recently called on the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to provide guidance on blockchain-based applications designed to improve food safety.

During an FDA meeting called “A New Era of Smarter Food Safety,” Manders noted that the regulatory agency should establish proper guidelines on how to use blockchain tech in a safe manner in food supply chains. 

ISG said that the primary challenges facing blockchain tech adoption in food supply chains are non-technical. There’s reportedly a lack of awareness regarding how existing blockchain infrastructure may be used in various scenarios, including collaboration models and vendors. 

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