Global retail giant Carrefour says it will extend its food tracking blockchain solution to more products after seeing a remarkable increase in sales.
Carrefour food tracking blockchain initiative was launched in April last year to provide more transparency about the source of food that customers purchase.
Carrefour food tracking blockchain solution
Food tracking using blockchain technology has become a formidable solution for global retailers seeking to pump new life into their supply chain. Blockchain inherent benefits such as traceability allow customers to have a holistic view of the product’s journey. More specifically, customers can see detailed information such as when the product was harvested and how it was packaged. This helps to reassure them about the quality and safety of the produce they purchase.
Carrefour’s blockchain solution was initially rolled out to track chicken before being expanded further to 20 other products including meat, eggs, milk, and fruits. Now the France-based company says it will extend the solution to even more products—focusing specifically on baby and organic products.
Speaking to Reuters, blockchain project manager, Emmanuel Delerm, Carrefour’s said:
“You are building a halo effect – ‘If I can trust Carrefour with this chicken, I can also trust Carrefour for their apples or cheese.”
The blockchain food traceability system has been built in collaboration with IBM, which is a leading player in the blockchain industry. In particular, IBM has been working with a number of partners including logistics firms, producers, and retailers to track and secure their global supply chains. The partnership allows Carrefour to use the IBM blockchain platform Food Trust, to track and share data related to how food is produced, packed, processed, and shipped.
Using their smartphones, customers can find this useful information about food products when they scan a QR code on the product packaging. For instance, in the case of pomelo grapefruit, customers were able to learn about the date of harvest, location of cultivation, when it was packed, among other information.
Expanding to non-farm items
Delerm further added that pomelo and chicken tracked using blockchain distributed ledger were able to sell faster compared to non-blockchain products. This is mainly because today’s consumers have an increasing need for transparency. Health-conscious customers, for example, are interested in information about the origin of products and how animals are cared for.
Carrefour’s food tracking blockchain solution is currently available in Europe and China but there are plans to introduce the initiative to other markets as well. Despite the progress, Delerm said there are still challenges to overcome, such as resistance from farmers to share too much information.
Going forward, Carrefour wants to add non-farm items like clothing, as well as more information, such as how much the farmer gets out of the shelf price. It is also trialing new methods to identify products that do not have QR codes on their labels.
Carrefour recently teamed up with Nestle by providing blockchain data relating to Mousline potato puree—allowing customers to see it is only made from French potatoes. In Africa, Carrefour operates stores in Kenya, Egypt, and 15 other countries through partnerships