Carrefour extends blockchain pilot rollout to textiles

Supermarket chain Carrefour has extended its blockchain traceability trial beyond food products for the first time, using the technology for its TEX line of bed linen and baby wear products.

Carrefour has progressively been expanding the range of products it sells that offer traceability via the IBM Food Trust platform, an initiative the company has been involved in since it first kicked off in 2018.

The chain recently said it would extend the system into its United Arab Emirates (UAE) operations for products like chicken and microgreens, as a first stage before rolling it out across all its global markets, and for citrus products in Brazil.

Now, Carrefour will use blockchain to track 450 TEX products sold in France and Spain, focusing specifically on the TEX Bio sub brand based on 100 per cent certified cotton, before applying it to the range in other markets.

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TEX Bio cotton is non-GMO, guaranteed to be grown without synthetic pesticides, and produced in certified farms respecting the requirements of the rules of organic production, according to the company.

Blockchain is a technology for the digital storage and transmission of secure and tamper-proof information. It serves as a database or registry, that contains an indelible history of all exchanges between users from its creation.

Using a smartphone, purchasers of a product can scan a QR code, for example, and learn about the origins and handling of the product as it passed through the supply chain, as well as ensuring what they have bought is genuine and not counterfeit.

Carrefour has previously said it plans to apply blockchain to all its premium food products range by 2022, and the latest development suggests its ambitions for the technology go even further.

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