French food retailer and supermarket giant Auchan has announced that it will roll out its blockchain-based food traceability solution in five more countries to improve the transparency of food production and distribution process.
The French retail giant, which boasts of over 2,000 stores spreading across 17 countries, is expanding the FoodChain blockchain platform in France, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Senegal. This follows an 18-month pilot period which saw Auchan track selected food products from farm-to-table in Vietnam.
Auchan Blockchain Food Traceability Solution
FoodChain is a blockchain-driven food traceability system built by Germany-based blockchain company Te-Food for Auchan. The system tracks the history of food through the complicated supply chain process, from the farm to the table, as well as recording food safety data points and related logistics information.
With FoodChain, Auchan customers will be able to scan QR codes on food products and view the product lifecycle using their mobile phones. Additionally, the authenticity of data is guaranteed by FoodChain since each party in the value chain— producer, processor, logistics provider and distributor — records relevant product information on the same secure, immutable blockchain platform.
The blockchain solution has three interfaces; an inventory management tool for local authorities to verify food certificates issued by farms; a B2B application for logistics companies to record traceability data; and a B2C application that allows consumers to access information concerning food products life cycle.
Auchan explained that by allowing consumers to view the origin and journey of food, the food traceability blockchain solution enhances transparency and guarantees food quality. On the other hand, supply chain participants such as food companies and safety regulators can ensure that only the highest quality products are offered to customers.
Improving Transparency in Food Supply Chain
Te-Food has the largest food traceability network in Vietnam, where more than 6,000 companies are currently using it, including major food retail companies, such as AEON, CP Group and Lotte Mart. The solution is currently being used on 18,000 pigs, 20,000 chickens and 2.5 million eggs, and will soon be extended to track eggplants, mangos, and durian fruit.
Food traceability using blockchain technology has attracted significant attention among global food retailers in recent months. Tracking the life journey of food from farm to table is seen as an efficient way to gain back consumers trust by improving transparency in the food supply chain.
Some recent examples of retailers employing blockchain technology in food traceability include Walmart, the Dutch-based Albert Heiji, Carrefour, and blockchain SaaS provider FoodLogiQ. And this month’s Romaine lettuce E.coli outbreak in the US and Canada has again highlighted the importance of food traceability.