One of the world’s largest brewers is trialing a new programme that uses blockchain technology to provide its beer consumers with an end-to-end view of its barley supply chain.
AB InBev, who own well-known brands such as Becks, Budweiser and Leffe, say the programme will begin with Leffe packs sold in France in 2021. Via the use of blockchain tech, consumers will be able to scan a QR code on a pack of beer to learn about where the barley is grown, reaped and malted.
The pilot will connect barley farmers in the north east of France with one malthouse in Antwerp and the Stella Artois brewery in Leuven.
AB InBev say the data they collect will not only provide info to consumers, but also help to advance agricultural development in areas such as improving farmers’ yields and environmental footprint.
Pieter Bruyland, CIO for Europe at AB InBev, believes the use of a decentralised platform will give the company increased traceability and valuable data on growing ingredients:
“By connecting players across the beer supply chain – from farmers, malting cooperatives, breweries, warehouses and carriers – to one secure, decentralised platform we can increase traceability and gather data that will help us to continue to grow the finest ingredients for our beers sustainably.”
AB InBev’s trial comes at a time when consumers are becoming more focused on where their products and their ingredients come from. The brewing giants are nonetheless by no means the only organisation using blockchain to trace ingredients. A case in point is Dutch not-for-profit Fairfood, who use the technology to trace food items to their source – allowing farmers to get better prices and labourers to get better wages.