Nestlé and Carrefour, both members of the IBM Food Trust, are to offer food traceability for a famous French convenience food, Mousline instant mashed potato, one of Nestlé’s brands. By using IBM’s blockchain platform, consumers can access reliable and unfalsifiable information about the supply chain and production by scanning the QR code on the product using their smartphones.
The technology is now live in all Carrefour stores around France. The partnership is built upon a vision shared by all three companies to provide greater transparency to consumers within the food industry.
Nestlé is a founding member of IBM’s Food Trust platform and Carrefour joined the platform last October. By leveraging the expertise of the three companies, the initiative launched successfully after just six months.
In addition, blockchain technology applied to Mousline instant mashed potato will highlight the dedication and care within the production and supply chain, as well as improve transparency for consumers. At this stage, the traceability will go back through the logistics trail to Mousline and back to the source farms. Consumers will be able to view which farms were involved and the varieties of potatoes used.
For Carrefour, the partnership is a continuation for its programme, Act for Food. Carrefour is looking to promote blockchain within the food industry. Several products in its Carrefour Quality Lines have already adopted the technology since last year, including chicken, tomatoes and fresh full-fat milk.
Other major retailers have also explored the use of blockchain to improve food traceability. Just last week, Albertsons signed up to IBM Food Trust. Following multiple E. Coli outbreaks in the US last year, Walmart has asked all of its leafy green vegetable customers to use the platform. French retailer Auchan is working with startup TE-Food to improve food traceability, whilst Dutch supermarket Albert Heijin is using blockchain to trace orange juice.
But the most likely major competitor to IBM Food Trust is iTradeNetwork with more than 5,000 global clients including Heinz, Kellogg’s, Cargill, Kroger, Safeway and Hannaford.