Many of the giants in the food industry such as Walmart, IBM, and Nestle make use of Blockchain technology to track transfer stages of their products.
Nestle, the biggest food retailer in Switzerland, says that IBM Food Trust will be prepared this year to help new producers and consumers.
Benjamin Dubois, digital transformation manager of global supply chain at Nestle, was interviewed by the Swiss Heure 24 newspaper about it too.
IBM Food Trust Blockchain project was started in autumn 2016, and Walmart did its first experiments in December 2016 in China. On the other hand, Nestle has been busy conducting research since August 2017.
New Blockchain Technology, A Way to Inspire the Customers’ Confidence
According to Dubois, this project has been developed responding to the consumers’ request for more transparency and trust in food products. New Blockchain technology can be a way to win the customer’s confidence.
The objective of this project is enabling companies to track the issues and problems related to food products such as diseases prevalence and decrease the risk of their infection. Since most of the businesses still use the black and white system to register and record, it would be very hard to find the where the contaminated food products have come from, sent to, sold and consumed.
Tracking Products Via Blockchain from Production to Consumption
Blockchain technology dramatically accelerates the tracking speed of all the products besides their production stages, and each retailer can share its information in case of necessity. These data can include information such as products’ processing, transportation or labeling which can be tracked in a matter of seconds.
As heure 24 has stated, this platform is a powerful tool which provides this facility for the retailers to inspire the customer’s confidence and manage the data through a safe and decentralized manner which results in information observability at any time.
As Dubois points out, among its benefits is that the produced and consumed products’ information will be available for the consumers. Through a simple QR code, the consumer not only understands the product’s originality and ingredients, but he/she also is informed about the farmer, production time, expiry date, factory identity wherein the product is kept, even the number of the workers at the agricultural organization and the type of official license the producer has.
Successful Experiences of Using Blockchain in Food Industry
Current consumers seek for a portion of healthy and aboriginal food; that is, there now imposed more sensitivity to the security of food ingredients more than any other time. Therefore, the companies have used Blockchain technology to supervise food and agricultural products such as tracking rice in Cambodia, meat products in China and dairy products in the U.S and their reason is requiring more transparency.
Dubois remarked that several technical challenges will remain till 2019, information systems coordination management and not having a specific date for the actualization of this plan are some cases in point.
France Food Scandals, a Reason to Support This Plan
Besides welcoming this plan, France Consumers’ federation stated that not being traceable and high number of intermediaries were the impediments to identify the main responsible for the past food scandals in France.
Using a forbidden material at laying hen farms is among scandals occurred for France food industry. Formerly, the horses sold for the pharmaceutical industry in this country were found in the protein market. Carrefour, the largest French retailer and the member of IBM Food Trust, has recently launched Hyperledger tracking platform for its Spanish network.
Applying Blockchain technology can avoid fraud in food and its following damages besides transparency and winning the consumers’ confidence.