IBM’s blockchain food tracking technology is used by multinational retail company Carrefour to track food supply lines from farm to store. Through an agreement between Majid Al Futtaim – the company Carrefour operates in the Middle East – and IBM, the retail giant will initially use the IBM Food Trust to track two categories of food: chicken and microgreens.
The IBM Food Trust is a blockchain-specific platform for the food industry that is hosted in the IBM Cloud. With Carrefour, which had sales of $ 97 billion in 2019, customers can scan QR codes for the products in question and receive comprehensive information about their entire production process, according to a report by Gulf Business.
Relevant information includes product origin, production date, transport dates, ingredients, health and halal certifications, nutritional statistics and temperature data.
Gulf Business cites a recent survey by the IBM Institute for Business that found 73% of respondents looking for better traceability methods for their products. In particular, 71% of respondents said they would be willing to pay additional fees for services they offer.
Majid Al Futtaim Retail CEO Hani Weiss said trust in global food supply chains is becoming an important issue – one sparked by the COVID-19 outbreak:
“Confidence in the food supply is becoming increasingly important around the world. This trend is accelerated by changing consumer demands and the resulting health and wellbeing concerns due to the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Weiss said using blockchain technology would improve operational efficiency and increase customer trust and loyalty.
“It is therefore imperative that we invest in quality assurance along the entire value chain and, at the same time, work on building robust customer trust and strong customer loyalty. In response to new market expectations, we are now offering our valued Carrefour customers improved food traceability and operational efficiency for our business, ”said Weiss.
IBM’s Food Trust was first used by Carrefour in November 2019 when it used blockchain technology to track the supply chain for infant milk formulas.
A 2020 report by Cointelegraph Consulting and VeChain suggested that $ 300 billion worth of groceries should be recorded and traced on the blockchain by 2027. In an industry where fraud is surprisingly high, the use of blockchain technology would reportedly save $ 100 billion a year by ensuring that the products on land in stores are legitimate.