Danone is applying for the first time blockchain, aggregation and serialisation technologies for its infant formula packs. David Boulanger, the company’s senior VP of operations, said a new Track & Connect service for the Aptamil, Karicare, Nutrilon and Laboratoire Gallia is going to be introduced. The service will combine the blockchain, aggregation, serialisation and QR codes technologies for boosting traceability from the farm to the fork.
More People Want to Know Where Their Food Comes From
Boulanger said this comes as a response to the consumers’ demand to know where the food they’re consuming is coming from. These were his exact words about this:
“They want to know how their food is made and where it comes from. Based on what we hear from our consumers and retail partners, shoppers value information on where, when and how we make our baby formula products.”
Danone Uses Blockchain Technology for the First Time
Boulanger also mentioned that this is the first time Danone uses blockchain technology in this manner. The Track & Connect service is based on the diary giant’s strategy for manufacturing. Here’s how Boulanger explained the process:
“What’s unique is that Danone carries out this manufacturing process in-house by using a global code repository. Here, QR codes are created, managed and validated, before being printed onto packs and scanned by consumers.”
The QR code on the outside of the package can be scanned before or after the product has been bought. It gives information about the batch and the unit numbers of the product, revealing the logistical information on how it went through the supply chain. When it comes to the inner QR code, this is behind a seal that’s tamper-resistant. This code can be scanned only after the product has been bought and provides:
“a route through which Danone can ultimately offer shoppers customized after-sale support and services such as access to health and nutritional mobile apps and information, useful how to parenting videos, access to customer helplines or online e-commerce services.”
People Want to Protect Themselves Against Adulteration
In the past few years, people have grown more concerned about safety when it comes to infant nutrition. Last year, the European Food and Safety Authority (EFSA) had suspicions baby formulas may have been behind the Salmonella Poona outbreak in Luxembourg, Belgium and France. Besides, in July 2018, Danone’s Aptamil was believed to have caused a few children in the UK to become ill. Boulanger had this about food adulteration and fraud:
“In the past, this has been an issue that industry, together with other partners, has worked on to address.”
The traceability service promises a lot and may restore Danone’s reputation in the dairy industry.
Not only Danone’s tamper-resistant seal is informing about food-safety processes and monitors the product’s quality, it also adds more safety to it.