Walmart Pilots Program with Agricultural Data Supplier to Improve Seasonal Fresh Supply Chains

Walmart is partnering with Agritask, a crop supply intelligence solution, on a pilot that will deploy Agritask’s remote sensing and data analytics tools in various regions of the U.S. and Mexico in order to provide hyperlocal insights on seasonal blackberry and cherry crops from select Walmart suppliers. The real-time monitoring will help drive rapid response to adverse environmental conditions in order to better manage supply and enhance overall product quality.

The pilot, being conducted in collaboration with the Walmart Global Tech Sparkcubate startup program, is designed to enable sourcing managers to make more well-informed decisions on seasonal fruit crop yields, with the goals of securing surety of supply, cutting food waste and guaranteeing fresh produce for shoppers. Blackberries and cherries were chosen due to their high sensitivity to temperature fluctuations and moisture levels.

Insights stemming from the program could include:

  • Immediate alerts on emerging risks and their potential impact on target crops, such as an unexpected frost harming a cherry harvest, enabling Walmart to more quickly adjust procurement strategies;
  • Real-time assessment of timing, delays or advances in expected harvests, allowing the retailer to proactively manage inventory levels and explore alternative sourcing options; and
  • Indications on meeting yield targets updated throughout the growing season, helping Walmart optimize supply chain logistics and ensure sufficient product availability.

Walmart has been working on a number of different ways to improve sustainability, from the supply chain to its stores, including:

  • In July 2023 Walmart and PepsiCo invested $120 million to support regenerative agriculture practices on more than 2 million acres of farmland in the U.S. and Canada, with the aim of cutting 4 million metric tons of greenhouse gasses by 2030;
  • In October 2023 Walmart joined companies including Tesco and Unilever in a Consumer Goods Forum working group tasked with addressing food waste challenges;
  • Walmart is working with Rubi Laboratories on technology that turns captured carbon into fibers that can be used for sustainable apparel; and
  • In April 2024, Walmart and its suppliers reached an important milestone — reducing, avoiding or sequestering one gigaton (1 billion metric tons) of greenhouse gasses — six years ahead of schedule (and are continuing their efforts).