TE-FOOD, a blockchain-based food traceability project, will expand its work with French retail giant Auchan to provide food quality and logistics information across different food types and countries, it was announced Thursday. Auchan, the world’s 13th largest food retailer, has been working with TE-FOOD since 2016, where a pilot scheme was introduced into one of its Vietnamese branches. The pilot was clearly a success as Auchan revealed an extension of the collaboration throughout France with further international roll-outs expected to follow in Italy, Spain, Portugal, and Senegal.
TE-FOOD’s farm-to-table traceability solution is indicative of the huge potential blockchain technology has in the field of logistics. Tracking products from their point of origin all the way through the supply chain to the retailer, who with a simple scan of their phone can verify the claims made on the packaging, which is particularly useful when it comes to organic produce and allergy information.
To date, Auchan has used TE-FOOD’s blockchain technology for vegetable products, including organic carrots and potatoes, but an expansion into meat and poultry is anticipated, as well as increasing the variety of vegetables tracked. According to Auchan, studies show that 66% of consumers do not believe the information displayed on food labels, an issue that blockchain could help resolve.
Competition Hots Up
Auchan is not the only retailer trialing blockchain solutions for product provenance. Walmart announced in September that, following an E. coli outbreak, it was experimenting with tracking lettuces on the blockchain to be able to identify batches much more precisely. Dutch retail chain Albert Heijn has also begun testing blockchain’s effectiveness. Blockchain-based logistics and product traceability could well turn out to be a crowded field, with projects such as VeChain and Morpheus Network also vying for market share, as well as private competition from the likes of IBM.