Yesterday, French supermarket chain Carrefour and Nestlé announced they are using IBM’s food provenance blockchain to track and trace infant milk formula. The two firms are leveraging IBM Food Trust to share supply chain and production data of Nestlé ’s GUIGOZ Bio 2 and 3 infant milk range.
Nestlé is a founding member of IBM Food Trust, and Carrefour joined shortly after. The blockchain platform is live at Carrefour stores around France. Using IBM’s solution, customers can access information regarding a product by just scanning a QR code on their smartphones.
Food traceability is at the forefront for many companies as customers are becoming more aware of the products they consume. They want to know that the ingredients used are sourced ethically and sustainably.
Consumer concerns around milk products may stem from the 2008 Chinese milk scandal, which sparked a food safety debate across the globe. Milk and infant formula from the country were mixed with other food materials and melamine, a chemical compound used in the production of laminates and glues. The incident led to six deaths, and at least 11 countries stopped all imports of Chinese dairy products.
Last year, The Wall Street Journal reported that Nestlé was running a blockchain trial for tracking Gerber Baby Food.
Infant milk produced by Laboratoires Guigoz, the French unit of Nestlé, can now be tracked using IBM’s Food Trust platform across all retailers.
Hyperledger Fabric underpins the IBM Food Trust platform.
Nestlé was also nominated for an award for its blockchain initiative Chain of Origin to increase the transparency of its supply chain.
Carrefour and Nestlé have previously worked together to offer food traceability for the Mousline instant mashed potato in France. Earlier this year, Carrefour extended its blockchain food traceability initiative to include milk.
In Vietnam, Vinamilk is using the TE-FOOD blockchain to track and trace its infant formula Vinamilk Organic Gold.
An Italian subsidiary of Kraft Heinz has also been exploring using blockchain to track baby food.