Documentation and archiving in transport takes a fortune. The use of blockchain technology may benefit e.g. logistics specialists from retail chains. Auchan and Carrefour are one of the first companies in this sector that decided to use the advantages of blockchain.
Blockchain technology is more and more popular among retail chains. For example, it allows for tracking a product from its creation to its delivery to the end customer. This streamlines the entire logistics process and also ensures greater product safety, especially for food products. Auchan has started to use this innovative technology.
According to Auchan experts, two-thirds of consumers do not believe the information on product labels, and food fraud is often reported in the media. The use of blockchain will ensure that every customer can obtain all the information about the transport and quality of food. In short, it is about TE-FOOD, a retail monitoring system.
How does it work?
For many goods, such as food and pharmaceuticals, the conditions under which they were transported are more important than the route itself. Thanks to special sensors capable of communicating with the Internet, and thus with blockchain, it is possible to additionally measure and record parameters such as temperature and humidity during transport, and the results of the measurements can be placed as blockchain transactions. Once recorded, the values cannot be deleted and therefore the data is fully reliable. This is an effective tool for verification by the recipient of the goods and the end customer.
There are already systems operating on the basis of this model, the customer receives a mobile application, thanks to which by scanning the barcode of goods in the store is able to verify their origin and trace the route travelled and the conditions under which the goods were transported.
Auchan customers use TE-FOOD via their smartphone. All they have to do is scan the QR code on the food and access all the data related to the selected food. It is not only theory, TE-FOOD passed the eighteen-month test at Auchan stores in Vietnam (it is currently used by about 6,000 consumers in that country), and after good test results, the commercial giant decided to implement the system in France, Spain, Portugal, Senegal and Italy.
According to the creators of the start-up, TE-FOOD may become the world’s largest retail monitoring system based on blockchain technology.
Auchan uses this technology to track the supply chain of organic vegetables (including organic carrots, potatoes), poultry, exotic fruits or cold cuts
Its application is beneficial not only for the retailer himself but also for consumers.
Carrefour, on the other hand, will invest in blockchain as part of the “Carrefour 2022” programme to eliminate errors and speed up deliveries. The platform (operated by Hyperledger), like in the case of Auchan, is designed to track poultry supplies to stores. For the time being, the system has been applied in Spain and is to be implemented in all Carrefour store chains around the world by next year. Along with the poultry, a tomato supply tracking program has already been implemented, and fresh whole milk will be next (Carrefour Quality Line – CQL).
Customers can now use their smartphones to monitor CQL milk supply throughout the supply chain, check that milk meets marketing requirements, whether cows from which it comes are fed GMO-free food and reared on small farms according to best practice. They can also check on which farms produced the milk when it was packed and placed on the shelves. They can even see the GPS coordinates of the location of the farm from which the milk originates.