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article imageThis grocery chain hopes to improve food safety using blockchain

By Karen Graham     Apr 9, 2018 in Technology
Carrefour SA, the big France-based hyper grocery chain wants its customers to know if that chicken they purchased led a good life, and was treated humanely. To that end, your purchase will come with its very own story, thanks to blockchain.
Seriously, every chicken the grocery chain sells under its store brand name comes with its very own life story - including the date it was born, to where it was raised, the date it was slaughtered, and everything pertaining to the chicken's life in between. All a customer has to do is scan the label with their Smartphone, reports Bloomberg News.
Just like the Internet transformed life as we know it, another technology - blockchain - is poised to do the same. Last year, four blockchains ETFs made their entrance into the market, but they weren't necessarily connected to Bitcoins or Ethereum. This is because it all has to do with the technology behind blockchains.
Blockchain marketing platforms are on the way
Blockchain marketing platforms are on the way / Pexels
Don & Alex Tapscott, authors of "Blockchain Revolution" give a great definition of blockchain technology: “The blockchain is an incorruptible digital ledger of economic transactions that can be programmed to record not just financial transactions but virtually everything of value.”
Proponents of blockchain technology say that the information cannot be controlled by any single entity and has no single point of failure. reports that Eric Ervin, CEO of Reality Shares said blockchain is expected to grow at a compounded interest rate of 61 percent as companies such as Apple, Microsoft, Intel and others are committed to adopting and developing blockchain technologies.
Blockchain - a continuously growing list of records  called blocks  which are linked and secured usi...
Blockchain - a continuously growing list of records, called blocks, which are linked and secured using cryptography.
deavmi (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Ervin talked about International Business Machines (IBM), noting that the company has many projects going on, including artificial intelligence, but "blockchain's one of IBM's biggest initiatives in the entire company," he said. "Their long-term strategic vision is really embracing blockchain and being the go-to provider for it."
Can blockchain improve food safety?
While it hasn't been proven yet, there is hope that blockchain technology will improve food safety. IBM created a blockchain platform being used by Nestlé, Dole Food, Unilever, and Tyson Foods, in collaboration with Walmart. as well as Kroger and, China’s second-largest e-commerce operator.
“There’s no question about it, blockchain will do for food traceability what the internet did for communication,” says Frank Yiannas, Walmart Inc.’s vice president for food safety and health. Yiannas cites estimates that predict that for every 1.0 percent reduction in food-borne illnesses in the U.S. alone, the economy would benefit by $700 million in increased productivity.
Tracing food via blockchain
Tracing food via blockchain
Carrefour SA
Carrefour, one of the largest hypermarket chains in the world with 12,300 markets (including 1,528 hypermarkets), developed its own system in-house. Carrefour's launch of blockchain is an important milestone in the implementation of its Carrefour 2022 transformation plan, according to a company news release.
With blockchain technology already used for free-range Carrefour Quality Line Auvergne chickens, Carrefour will be rolling out about eight more animal and vegetable product lines, such as eggs, cheese, milk, oranges, tomatoes, salmon and ground beef steak.
“Become the leader of the food transition for everyone is the aim that Alexandre Bompard has set for the Carrefour group. Making use of blockchain technology is an exemplary step in meeting this aim. This is a first in Europe and will provide consumers with guaranteed complete transparency as far as the traceability of our products is concerned”, explains Laurent Vallée, Carrefour's general secretary and head of quality and food safety.
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