Europe’s largest retailer Carrefour has adopted blockchain ledger technology – powered by IBM — to track and trace chicken, eggs and tomatoes as they travel from farms to stores, Reuters reported.
US-based technology major IBM is working with a number of retailers, logistics firms and growers to roll out systems to secure their global supply chains.
IBM Food Trust allows the industry to track and share information on how products are grown, processed and shipped. The technology cuts the time for checking the provenance of food from days or weeks to seconds, IBM said.
IBM says it has the power to transform industries from finance to real estate, but so far there have been few examples of its large-scale application.
Carrefour Secretary General Laurent Vallee said the group would widen its use of the system to its 300 fresh products across the world by 2022, securing a safe supply chain and allowing customers to trust in their food.
Global businesses will pay around $212,000 a year for full use of Food Trust, which is now available worldwide, IBM said.
Still, mass adoption of the technology could face hurdles, said Simon Ellis of U.S.-based market research firm IDC.
Pork processing giant Smithfield Foods is among other firms joining the project, IBM said, while science and technology companies contributing data to the blockchain now include Minneapolis-based 3M.
Retail giant Walmart said last month it would ask leafy greens suppliers to implement real-time, farm-to-store tracking using IBM’s technology.
Last year, 10 retail and food companies including Nestle, Unilever and Tyson Foods joined the blockchain project.