Nestlé unveils blockchain initiative with Carrefour to improve transparency

By Oliver Morrison contact

- Last updated on GMT

Shoppers can scan the Mousline packaging to get information about the product's production date, quality control parameters, storage times and the location of warehouses
Shoppers can scan the Mousline packaging to get information about the product's production date, quality control parameters, storage times and the location of warehouses

Related tags: blockchain, Nestle, Carrefour

Nestlé is embracing the farm to fork movement and will for the first time share product information with consumers via a blockchain platform.

It has teamed up with supermarket giant Carrefour to give shoppers in France access to blockchain data for its Mousline instant mashed potato.

The company said the move is part of Nestlé’s wide range of blockchain test projects, ranging from logistics to sustainability, designed to help reinforce trust in food.

From Mousline to mouth

Shoppers inside a Carrefour store will be able to scan a QR code on the Mousline packaging from a smartphone or other device.

They can then follow the journey of the product from the Nestlé factory in the north of France to Carrefour stores. The access will allow them to see the production date, quality control parameters, storage times and the location of warehouses.

In addition to the blockchain data, consumers will also find information on the farmers who supply the potatoes for Mousline and how the product is made.

Nestlé says it is testing blockchain technology to create better transparency and visibility of the whole value chain.

Using blockchain to reinforce consumer trust

Nestlé started using blockchain in 2017 when it joined the IBM Food Trust as a founding member. The IBM Food Trust aims at reinforcing traceability of food products. In October 2018, Carrefour joined the IBM Food Trust. Together with Nestlé, the two companies have been working with IBM blockchain technology to develop the pilot on Mousline purée.

“This Mousline pilot is the result of a successful partnership with Carrefour and a great step forward on our blockchain journey,”​ said Vineet Khanna, SVP - Global Head Supply Chain at Nestlé. “We are using this technology to bring more transparency to our products by providing accurate, trusted and impartial information. That will benefit the whole value chain, including retailers and consumers.”

Staying true to authenticity and local identity: Why has Mousline been chosen for the pilot?

Mousline instant mashed potato is a product familiar to everyone in France.

Blockchain technology applied to Mousline will highlight the expertise of the farmers who ensure the quality of an iconic and authentic brand, said Carrefour. Nestlé is hoping this blockchain venture alongside a national brand such as Mousline can help reinforce the bond of trust with its consumers through the transparency of its supply chain and manufacturing.

Nestlé and Carrefour will test the blockchain platform with Mousline over the next few months. Nestlé said the pilot will help to understand the impact and scalability of the technology, and inform decisions on further developments.

Carrefour – a keen adopter of blockchain

This is not the first time the French supermarket has championed blockchain. For Carrefour, this three-way partnership is a continuation of its Act for Food programme, which works towards greater food traceability.

Carrefour’s desire to be involved in blockchain initiatives​ is driven by consumer demand. According to the French supermarket, shoppers are paying more attention to what they eat. Blockchain – digital ledger technology that creates a permanent, open and secure record of transactions -- allows customers to better understand traceability data and to connect with the food in their shopping baskets. Last month, Carrefour applied the technology for tracking milk.

Related topics: Market Trends

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