WalMart is in the process of developing a new technology that can predict the spoilage date of fruits and vegetables. They initially launched the tech, called Eden, in January of last year at 43 of its food distribution centers. Walmart say it has saved the company about $86 million so far. Once the system is implemented company wide, WalMart estimates it will save the company more than $2 billion over the next five years by reducing food waste. Eden inspects produce in order to identify products that don’t meet USDA or Walmart quality standards. This is possible thanks to an algorithm that takes into account ALL USDA and WalMart standards, along with over 1 million photos used for comparison. Over time, the system becomes ever more accurate and is expected to eventually be able to forecast the exact date a fruit of vegetable will begin to spoil by factoring in thinks like the temperature of where its being stored. Parvez Musani, vice president of supply chain technology for Walmart, explains that in the future, Eden will even be able to recalculate the freshness factor of produce en-route on container trucks, and re-route the shipment if temperatures exceed acceptable ranges. To monitor temperature, Walmart will attach tracking devices to cases of produce as they travel on trucks between farms, distribution centers, and stores. WalMart has also begun deploying the technology to farmers who can operate Eden on their smartphones. Producers take a picture of food being prepared for shipment and the Eden system can identify any items that are below quality standards. WalMart has filed two patents for the new ”freshness technology”, which the company believes will exponentially optimize its shipping and rotation of fresh produce, in turn reducing food waste. Eden is WalMart’s own in-house system, but they aren’t the only technology being developed to fight food waste along the supply chain. Verigo has a system called Pod Quality. The start-up says the system gives growers, shippers and retailers “actionable data to optimize post-harvest, inventory rotation and routing decisions. According to the United Nations, over $7 billion worth of fresh products shipped in North America spoil in the back of a truck or in a warehouse before reaching a consumer. (Sources: Forbes, Business Insider)

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