Carrefour, a French multinational retailer, started its blockchain project 2,5 years ago. The initiative was to develop own provenance tracking platform for chicken, tomatoes, milk, eggs and cheese.
Emmanuel Delerm, Carrefour Directeur Organisation & Méthodes:
“When you buy a product it has a QR code on its packaging, and that directly takes you to the web page where we show the batch number, the order number, shelf life and the like.”
Carrefour started with Auvergne free-range chicken. The blockchain connected all the stakeholders in the chicken supply chain, including the farm, the livestock breeders’ union, the feed factory, the vet, the slaughterhouse, and the processing and packaging center for seamless relaying of information.
The resulting value chain provides consumers with exact information when hatching of the chicken, the place it was bred, the cereal it was fed, and its age at the time of slaughter. These updates are specific to individual chicken.
Carrefour has now partnered with IBM Food Trust and Swiss multinational food and beverage company Nestle to explore the potential of exchanging mutually trustworthy data.
Carrefour’s data shows that about 40 percent of its customers use their smartphones while moving through the store aisles, and the information embedded within QR codes might be vital for in the purchase decision making.
The wild popularity of smartphone apps that rank products on customer reviews is also causing a shift in the purchasing behavior of consumers. Delerm pointed at apps in France that rate products on a scale of 1 to 100, and will suggest substitutes if the product in question is not great. Such apps have millions of downloads.
If blockchain-based provenance tracking is made mainstream, it can actually help companies create separate product lines based on specific product descriptions – like the place of origin, feed, quality, shelf life and even the length of its supply chain. For instance, product lines like wine can be labeled based on individual farms rather than regions, giving consumers the opportunity to develop loyalties and providing vineyard owners the chance to take credit for their work in the field.