Business

Steve Kaaru

Items tracked by blockchain sell faster, retailer Carrefour reveals

Items tracked using blockchain technology sell faster than their counterparts, leading French retailer Carrefour SA has revealed. The retailer has been using blockchain technology to track basic food products, from the farmer to the store. According to an executive at the firm, customers have taken to the blockchain-tracked foods with great zeal.

Carrefour’s blockchain tracking system allows the customers to see detailed information about a particular product by simply scanning a barcode. Such information allows them to select products that don’t contain pesticides, genetically modified organisms or antibiotics. The overall result is that the customers are assured of the quality of products that they buy.

The retailer is using its system to track 20 products, with plans to increase this number to 100 by the end of the year. They include eggs, oranges, chicken, pork, cheese and raw milk. Moving forward, Carrefour will focus on areas in which customers are more concerned with the quality of a product such as with baby products.

Speaking to Reuters, Carrefour’s blockchain head Emmanuel Delerm revealed that while the products being tracked right now are few, the trust established with these products ripples on to the others.

He stated: “We are building a halo effect – ‘If I can trust Carrefour with this chicken, I can also trust Carrefour for their apples or cheese.”

The system, a product of a partnership with IBM, has continued to add more abilities as the two firms develop it further. Now, customers can get much more information than they did previously about a product. Delerm gave the example of a pomelo grapefruit, with a simple scan of a barcode giving the customer information on its “date of harvest, location of cultivation, the owner of the plot, when it was packed, how long it took to transport to Europe and tips on how to prepare it.”

And according to him, “The pomelo sold faster than the year before due to blockchain. We had a positive impact on the chicken versus the non-blockchain chicken.”

He also revealed that the initiative has been the most successful in China, mainly because the scanning of barcodes on retail products is quite popular in the Asian country. Italy and France are the other countries where it’s been a big hit. The system is also more popular with millennials than with any other generation.

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