Carrefour is set to deploy IBM blockchain ledger technology across its fresh product lines. The French retail giant will track and trace its own branded products in France, Spain and Brazil, before expanding to other countries by 2022.
It has joined the IBM Food Trust platform, which recently went from test mode to production, to implement a global food traceability standard across all of the links in the supply chain – from producers through to sales channels.
Through this network set up between manufacturers and distributors, product safety information can be shared, including: traceability information about product origin and quality; information about the nutritional properties of products and the potential presence of any allergens or questionable substances; traceability shared across the whole supply chain in the event of a product recall, a health issue or non-compliance with specifications or a particular label.
“Consumers want more and more transparency regarding the products they eat,” says Cosme de Moucheron, IBM’s Managing Director in charge of Carrefour group. “That’s why members of the IBM Food Trust ecosystem are co-developing a new solution – so that all of the parties involved in the supply chain can guarantee product traceability and quality. We are delighted that Carrefour is joining the group of founder members behind this initiative so it can play an active role in extending it throughout Europe and the rest of the world.”
“Being a founding member of IBM Food Trust platform is a great opportunity for Carrefour to strongly accelerate and widen the integration of blockchain technology to our products in order to provide our clients with safe and undoubted traceability,” says Laurent Vallée, Carrefour Group’s General Secretary. “This is a decisive step in the roll-out of Act for Food, our global programme of concrete initiatives in favour of the food transition.”
The addition of Carrefour closely follows Walmart’s announcement that, along with its membership-only retail warehouse division, Sam’s Club, it will require its leafy green suppliers to capture traceability data using IBM Food Trust.
The initiative will go live next September. Walmart recently consultated with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to improve traceability of food products, thus helping public officials investigate and find the source of food-borne disease outbreaks. The US has seen several such outbreaks in the past few years.