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Italian Retailers Use Blockchain and QR Codes for Food Supply Chain Traceability

19 August 2019 16:28, UTC
Italian Retailers Use Blockchain and QR Codes for Food Supply Chain Traceability
By Vsevolod Gnetii

Large retail chains and several food manufacturers in Italy are investing in projects to monitor and trace the entire food supply chain in order to make it more transparent to customers, for example, by enabling them to identify information on the label using a smartphone.

Modern consumers are quite demanding and show an increased interest in the origin and methods of processing food products that appear on their table. Supermarkets have launched a number of initiatives based on the blockchain technology, which guarantees the immutability of registered data and the presence of the entire data stream. It all allows guaranteed tracking of the entire production chain, as well as each operation.

The chain of hypermarkets Auchan Retail Italia, in collaboration with Big Group and Te-Food (Auchan's technology partner), has already launched traceability of the carrot supply chain. This became possible through the use of a QR code on product labeling. Following the carrots, chicken products are now also traced. In total, the use of the blockchain system and QR code will affect more than 40 food products. The project will cover 19 Italian regions and 1,500 retail outlets, including Auchan hypermarkets and Auchan, Simply and IperSimply supermarkets. And on their shelves, there are 5 thousand food products labeled Auchan and 17 thousand food products of local producers.

The Carrefour hypermarket and supermarket chain follows a similar path, applying a traceability system to 4,000 food products with their own labeling. The first QR code identification was applied to Filiera Qualità Carrefour chicken products (which were identified via MyCarrefour smartphone app ). Sicilian citrus fruits labeled Sicilia Filiera Qualità Carrefour also became traceable soon after.

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In Italy, the Carrefour group has 1,083 retail stores, including 51 Carrefour hypermarkets, 412 Carrefour Market supermarkets, 605 Carrefour Express retail stores, 13 Cash and Carry stores (Docks Market and GrossIper) and two Supeco stores.

Among the manufacturers that rely on full-cycle traceability, there is pasta giant Barilla, working in partnership with IBM Italia, as well as Spinosa, a specialized company that produces mozzarella of guaranteed and protected origin. The latter managed to launch product identification through the EY OpsChain Food Traceability platform, which allows tracing the entire production cycle from the supply of milk.

Image courtesy of: FT



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