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This Tuesday, French supermarket group Carrefour announced that it would extend its blockchain-based food traceability programme, which is currently in use for some of its chickens, to eight other products lines by the end of the year.

Carrefour currently uses blockchain to track the production of free-range Carrefour Quality Line Auvergne chickens, with plans of using the technology on eight more animal and vegetable product lines, such as eggs, milk, cheese, salmon, ground beef steak, tomatoes and oranges.

Blockchain technology will provide the food sectors with numerous advantages: consumers will benefit from much needed transparency and breeders will have a means through which they can present the quality of their produce and their expertise.

By using this technology, Carrefour will be able to share a secure database with all of its partners and give its customers a higher level of food safety.

By using their smartphones, consumers can scan a code found on the product’s package and find out information supplied by farmers and producers from each stage of production, including where were the chickens grown, how were they raised, what food were they fed, as well as how and where the meat was processed.

The supermarket group stated that it believed blockchain technology has numerous applications for the food chain as it enables the secure trafficking of information between producers and consumers.

“For consumers, it responds to the need for greater and greater transparency, for producers, it allows them to obtain more value from their production and know-how.”

Carrefour announced in January that it will undergo a massive overhaul of its business due to the increased competition from traditional rivals and online retailers.

One of its initiatives includes increasing the number of organic products it offers in a time when consumers are becoming more and more concerned about food production methods.

Becoming 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”, said Laurent Vallée, Carrefour’s general secretary and head of quality and food safety.

Carrefour, which held the position of world’s second-biggest retailer at the start of the century, after US supermarket chain Wal-Mart, has since gone down to ninth position, according to the Deloitte consultancy, having been surpassed by companies such Amazon and Costco.

Blockchain, the technology used in producing cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, has seen an increase in usage due to  companies and public authorities rapidly developing new applications which permit  the secure and transparent sharing of almost any kind of date.

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