As we mentioned in our article on blockchain and its uses, food traceability was identified by industry as a possible outlet. In August 2017, IBM partnered with Nestle, Unilever and Walmart to work on such a solution.
Closer to home, Carrefour has announced as part of its reform plan by 2022 that it launched "the first blockchain in Europe", with a lot of sponsored publications on social networks. A solution already in place for the traceability of Auvergne chickens "Carrefour Quality Line", which must be extended by the end of the year to eight other products: egg, cheese, milk, orange, tomato, salmon and chopped steak.
More concretely, it takes the form of a QR Code to be scanned on the product, allowing access to the animal's information via a public register. The example given on Twitter is accessible here. Unfortunately, this public registry can not be viewed as a whole, as the main site returns an error.
Each record contains details on the incubation, breeding, feeding, slaughtering and storage with the name of the various intermediaries and a video presentation of the breeder. Each link in the chain has access to a site and an application to provide this data.
In its announcement and press release, Carrefour also highlights the fact that the blockchain is a "secure and tamper-proof digital database that allows each actor in the supply chain to provide traceability information that concerns them. this for each lot. Nevertheless, the group forgets to give the technical details of its solution and guarantees in this regard.
In the current state of the project, one might wonder what differentiates this platform from a public database that does not exploit the blockchain, if not its unalterable side. If the stakeholders' machines are used, to what extent and how is the verification of the blocks to ensure that the whole is tamper-proof, even by Carrefour?
There is also the question of the reliability of the information entered by the many stakeholders and how it is assured and verified by Carrefour, because the blockchain can not do anything about it. We interviewed the group and will come back to the subject as soon as we get concrete answers.
However, we can welcome the implementation of a solution to make more clear and complete access to such details from a smartphone, whether or not it passes through a blockchain. It will be interesting to see the actual use of such a device by consumers when it is generalized.