Nestlé and French Multinational Retailer Carrefour Apply Blockchain Technology to Infant Nutrition “for the First Time”

Switzerland-based Nestlé, a food and drink processing conglomerate, has teamed up with Carrefour, a French multinational retailer, in order to “apply blockchain technology to infant nutrition for the first time.”

According to a recent press release:

“After being the first to apply blockchain technology to a national brand with Moussline® purée, Nestlé and Carrefour, which continue to work together on the IBM Food Trust platform, announce the first use of blockchain technology for their GUIGOZ® Bio 2 and 3 infant milk range.” 

The release stated that blockchain is a “major technological advance” and that it is expected to increase consumer confidence, as it will enhance transparency on product checks and origins. The platform is now available for “all GUIGOZ® Bio 2 and 3 packaging across sales channels,” the announcement noted.

Carrefour and Nestlé have been working cooperatively to develop blockchain-powered solutions, with Carrefour sharing its “expertise as a pioneer of consumer-centred blockchain technology,” the release mentioned. It added that Nestlé will be sharing its supply and production data for GUIGOZ® BIO 2 and 3 products. Nestlé will also bring its experience of working as a founding member of the IBM Food Trust consortium.

As noted in the release, the platform has been developed using IBM Food Trust’s technical solution, which has been created using Hyperledger’s distributed ledger technology.

The release further stated:

“This three-way partnership builds on Carrefour’s Act For Food programme. Blockchain technology enhances transparency and advances the food transition for extremely high-quality products, which parents expect for infant nutrition.” 

It added:

“For Nestlé and Laboratoires Guigoz, this innovative blockchain technology creates a new benchmark for transparency and the high standards of care required to ensure the quality of their products.”

Infant milks produced by Laboratoires Guigoz, GUIGOZ® Bio 2 and 3 will be sold through all the normal distribution channels, which includes outside Carrefour stores.

As noted in the release, providing greater transparency across the supply chain, “from dairy to shelf, helps build on the close relationship of trust between consumers and the brand.”

It adds:

“The blockchain technology applied to GUIGOZ® Bio 2 and 3 products from Laboratoires Guigoz highlights the expertise, know-how and care taken to ensure the quality of infant nutrition products.”

All consumers will be able to access all this information by scanning the QR code with their mobile devices.

Nestle Grocery Store in Spain Introduces New Facial Recognition Payment System Designed By CaixaBank

A Nestle grocery store based in Spain has introduced a facial recognition payment system designed by CaixaBank and the institution’s Payment Innovation Hub alliance. Samsung, Global Payments, Visa, and Arval are members of the alliance.

Nestle’s Face to Pay Market application can be downloaded from the Apple app store and Google Play store. Users have to provide their personal information, payment card, and facial image before they can make purchases at checkout lanes. The transactions are processed at checkout stations via a tablet that has a camera and an internet connection.

The Face to Pay system will go through a three-month testing phase, so that developers can check whether the platform can handle a large number of transactions (for example, during the Christmas season).

The Nestle facial recognition payments system has been announced following a similar project with a restaurant chain, called Vienna, at one of its locations in Barcelona, Spain.

CaixaBank’s management believes facial recognition software will help drive the “invisible payments” trend. The financial institution has introduced a biometric authentication method for processing cash withdrawals at ATMs in Barcelona and Valencia.

Notably, CaixaBank is one of the world’s first financial institutions, headed by Chairman, Jordi Gual, and CEO, Gonzalo Gortázar, to use facial recognition software to process withdrawals at ATMs without requiring a PIN.

CaixaBank says there are 6.3 million clients in Spain who use the bank’s digital services. The bank has also issued 17.2 million payment cards and handles around 28% of all POS terminal transactions in Spain.

Nestlé Launches New Blockchain Pilot Platform to Allow Customers to Track Food Right Back to the Farm

Swiss multinational food and drink company Nestlé announced on Tuesday the launch of its new blockchain pilot platform, which allows consumers to track their food right back to the farm. Nestlé claims to be the first major food and beverage company to announce it will pilot open blockchain technology to track food.

“OpenSC has developed a platform that will give anyone, anywhere access to independently verifiable sustainability and supply chain data. The initial pilot program will trace milk from farms and producers in New Zealand to Nestlé factories and warehouses in the Middle East. Later, the technology will be tested using palm oil sourced in the Americas. These pilots will allow Nestlé to understand how scalable the system is.”

While sharing more details about the platform, Magdi Batato, Executive Vice President and Head of Operations at Nestlé S.A., stated:

“We want our consumers to make an informed decision on their choice of products – to choose products produced responsibly. Open blockchain technology might allow us to share reliable information with consumers in an accessible way.”

Nestlé also noted that piloted blockchain technology since 2017, most prominently with IBM Food Trust. Benjamin Ware, Global Head of Responsible Sourcing at Nestlé S.A., went on to add:

“This open blockchain technology will allow anyone, anywhere in the world to assess our responsible sourcing facts and figures. We believe it is another important step towards the full disclosure of our supply chains announced by Nestlé in February this year, raising the bar for transparency and responsible production globally.”