Carrefour applies blockchain to milk supply chain

Fibo Quantum

This month (March 2019), French supermarket Carrefour will start selling its Carrefour Quality Line (CQL) micro-filtered full-fat milk in bottles with a QR code.

The initiative leverages blockchain technology – an open and secure digital ledger that enables a permanent record of transactions.

When scanned on a smartphone, the QR code diverts consumers to a Carrefour interface. Here, the shopper can learn where the animal was reared and what it was fed, depending on the season.

“These elements allow the consumer to better understand traceability data, and to connect with the agricultural world,” ​a Carrefour spokesperson told FoodNavigator.

“We don’t always have the space to put [these details] on product packaging – which is already very full – and which consumers don’t always have the time to read.”

According to the French supermarket, the initiative was driven, in part, by consumer demand.

Today, shoppers pay more attention to what they eat, we were told. “They want to be better informed, in order to make better decisions about what they consume.” ​ 

A QR code is displayed on Carrefour’s Quality Line micro-filtered full-fat milk bottles ©GettyImages/pop_jop

As the technology allows information to be securely exchanged between producers, distributors and consumers across the food chain, the spokesperson continued, why not apply it to enhance traceability? 

“Carrefour wants to be the leader in this food transition, and its [CQL] partners follow simple values: local agricultural products, methods that respect the environment, [and] a fair price…”

Supporting local production

CQL refers to products that come from long-term partnerships with suppliers of meat, deli products, fish, seafood, vegetables, cheese, eggs and honey.