Nestlé, Carrefour, IBM partner to track food on a blockchain
Nestlé has long been known as more than a simple chocolate company, as this brand is responsible for literally hundreds of different kinds of products that consumers eat each and every day. This includes instant mashed potatoes, which have become a significant sales item sold in the French supermarket chain Carrefour.
Now, this product will be used in a pilot program to help trace the movement of food shipments across Europe. The two companies are partnering with IBM’s Food Trust blockchain platform to track the supply chain of Mousline puree as a test product to see how effective the technology is.
This is a fairly significant deal, as this will give consumers the ability to track the information related to a national brand in Europe, the first time that consumers have been able to do this. This will ensure that customers will be able to simply scan a product using their smartphone, and receive information that is reliable and true about where the product came from and how it has been distributed. This is expected to be the first product in a line of others that will be tracked using the IBM platform.
Carrefour had already been involved in the use of the IBM Food Trust platform. They joined the group in October of last year, using IBM’s blockchain platform to be able to more accurately track the transport of food across the globe. This is part of their Act for Food program that has been working to more accurately track the transition of food through the use of this technology.
While consumers benefit from the knowledge that food is coming to the store safe, for companies, this is a great way to reduce food waste. The overall goal is to optimize the food supply so that everyone reaps the benefits of having safe and healthy food.
This was the thought process when Carrefour began tracking milk using the IBM platform in March of this year. Blockchain technology not only allows the company to be able to track milk shipments to ensure that they were not arriving late or were spoiled, but also allowed for much greater ease of payment across borders and within retail outlets. This also helps to speed up the process.
With Nestlé on board, over 5 million products are now tracked using blockchain technology. Even grocery stores in the United States are seeing the benefits. Supermarket giant Albertson announced that they would be using the Food Trust system to start tracking iceberg lettuce and that they were expecting to expand its use within short order.
In a statement, Nestlé explained, “As the world’s largest food manufacturer, Nestlé is involved in industry collaboration to improve product traceability and strengthen consumer trust.”
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