As from September, you will be able to trace the chicken supply chain at all Carrefour supermarkets in Italy. How? Thanks to blockchain technology. Twenty-nine farms, two feed mills and one slaughterhouse are participating in the project which is the result of a very clear trust and transparency agreement between mass distribution and consumers.
Thanks to Ethereum blockchain, which allows all those involved in the supply chain to register their information, without any external interference or alteration of data, the consumer will be given the opportunity to verify directly and in real-time all information on the product purchased: from breeding to the refrigerated counter.
Carrefour-branded chickens reared outdoors and without antibiotics will have a QR Code which will convey the most important product information on your smartphone: when the chicken was born, its race and characteristics at the date of slaughter, its packaging and best before date, and even some tips on how to cook it!
The experiment, unique in its kind in Italy, will start with free range chickens, yet the French giant intends to extend it to other sectors too; suffice it to think that in France, where the chicken tracking system was launched as early as the beginning of this year, the system is about to involve other eight animal and vegetable sectors such as eggs, cheese, milk, oranges, tomatoes, salmon and minced meat.
Therefore, this is a first step that is required, as explained by Carrefour, to better understand, even through customers, what data are worth collecting and sharing.
But why is blockchain really useful? It is not difficult to find similar information, though it is slightly more difficult to understand in a few words why blockchain, which usually makes cryptocurrency come to our mind, represents added value. We will try and do so in a couple of lines: blockchain creates an encrypted public registry based on distributed consensus. Therefore, any change must be authorised and shared with all participants. This simple element ensures the transparency of information and its full availability at any time, directly and in real time. Currently there is no other technology that can ensure such transparency and reactivity: we are thus talking about a new world to explore.