Category Archives: Carrefour

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Macron’s Got Problems but Blockchain Ain’t One

Macron's Got Problems but Blockchain Ain't One

French President Emmanuel Macron is seeing his popularity wane by the day due to his planned reforms for business and industry but new technologies appear to be flourishing under the current government, regardless of current discontentment.

Blockchain, in particular, has been earmarked and the latest news of IBM’s new initiatives and investments which should bring 1,800 jobs to France won’t hurt either. Nor will IBM’s new French project with P-TECH to support the disadvantages in finding work. In fact, France is on the crest of a blockchain wave currently, despite Macron’s reforms being soundly rejected. With overturned cars burning in Paris streets it seems hard to imagine that French politicians have got anything right under the current regime.

Perhaps a hint of this shifting focus towards new technologies by a Macron government was the dabbling with taxation this year, with the government finally settling on dropping the tax on cryptocurrency to 17%… for the time being. Clearly, the government doesn’t want to stifle an industry which it is now openly promoting, suggesting that it should now benefit from an EUR 500 million  state handout.

Member of the National Assembly, Laure de La Raudière, is one of those calling for the money, who sees efficiency as an end product arguing that government should follow private industry’s lead using DLT. She says: “I draw the alarm: it’s time to invest. There are not yet established positions in the world.”

She also cited the certification of diplomas or administrative documents as potential use cases. France’s Prime Minister Édouard Philippe is another sold on blockchain although taking some criticism on the subject of allowing Bitcoin to be dispersed in tabacs around France via a ticketing system. In other areas, he’s on safer ground:

“Take the example of agribusiness. To have an interesting blockchain in terms of traceability and food security, it is necessary to bring together distributors, producers, logisticians, the industrialists… And do not let only one actor manage the network as Carrefour or Casino can do today.”

Carrefour was the first to set the blockchain clock ticking with its produce monitoring program being introduced into some of its supermarkets earlier this year, a move recently followed in Spain.

The multi-party suggestion that France should receive massive financial banking to promote blockchain has occurred according to De la Raudière because she believes that she is not alone in wanting to see France as a leader rather than a follower in Europe. She argues, “France must have a conquering philosophy on the subject with the State in the first place, both as a user and federator of projects.”

Other suggestions coming from the recent parliamentary report highlight a call for the opening of bank accounts for blockchain-centered businesses which must register with the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF), the French stock market regulator.

 

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Australian Farmers Can Look to France for Blockchain Advice

Australian Farmers Can Look to France for Blockchain Advice

As the Australian food industry passes through a rough period in 2018, blockchain endorsements in the French supply chain industry might offer some routes to recovery.

Perhaps the most significant impact of DLT has been on supply chain networks as companies discover a new took for offering customer satisfaction through a transparent and accountable transfer of goods across borders.

Both the US and Europe have locked into this in a big way with retail giants Walmart and French supermarket chain Carrefour both finding initial positivism in blockchain and its functionality. There, even the sacred turkey now travels to the Thanksgiving table via blockchain.

On the other side of the world, Australia is beginning to look at how its supply chains can be protected with the added security that DLT is providing elsewhere. The food industry there did not have a good year, exacerbated by the news that fruit contaminated by sewing needles were found in strawberry punnets in a supermarket chain, resulting in the potential loss to the industry of AUD 130m a year. Tons of unwanted fruit have been dumped due to the sudden unpopularity of supermarket fruit as a result and one customer was hospitalized.

Apart for the obvious repercussions for sales in Australia, the country has taken a double hit as the tampered Australian strawberries then landed on New Zealand’s supermarket shelves causing two retailers to put up a ban on buying strawberries from Australia.

Unsurprising then that supermarkets are now looking to blockchain with a little more immediate interest than previously. The Australian market needs to regain the trust of the public, something which can be achieved by careful monitoring of the supply chain from farm to supermarket shelves, something that was clearly breached in these incidents down under, albeit by an extreme case of mismanagement.

The French model employed by Carrefour demonstrates that DLT can offer simple solutions for producers, manufacturers, and buyers across supply chains. This system provides customers with a blockchain-based traceability program, currently limited to some poultry in the chain’s Auvergne stores. The system offers a record of the chickens’ life from egg to supermarket. Shoppers can use a smartphone to scan in a code on the packaging to obtain details on each stage of production, including origins, earlier location, feed and where the meat was finally processed.

Around the world, growers are finding success in change. From Queensland cane growers tracking the movement of sugar around Australia, to growing and tracking organic rice in Cambodia, and cocoa in Ghana, blockchain is providing farmers with a way of tracking their products from field and farm to table.

 

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VeChain Blockchain Is Stamping Its Mark on Fashion, Trains Sight on China

VeChain, the blockchain-enabled platform designed to enhance product management in the supply chain, has a new potential client in Swedish multinational clothing-retail company H&M.

H&M’s in-house clothing brand Arket has been using VeChain for product testing its supply chain tracking solutions, with a company spokesman reporting that the test “is ongoing,” but as yet not evaluated.

With far more sophisticated tracking methods now being afforded by DLT, farmers are being brought into the accountability loop, with many products now being tracked from farm to table. From Queensland cane growers tracking the movement of sugar around Australia, to growing and tracking organic rice in Cambodia, and cocoa in  Ghana, blockchain is providing farmers with a way of tracking their products from growth to table.

Walmart and French giant Carrefour have already ‘blockchain- tracked’ items on their shelves. Whether Arket’s test is tracking its products from farm to clothing-rack, in the same way, is unclear. However, it should be possible in this case as the product in question is a woolen beanie.

The H&M POC test run allows shoppers to scan a product’s NFC chip and retrieve data on the VeChain app about an item, including the material that has been used. This includes the artist’s ID, colo, supplier, factory name and more relevant information, although what farm the wool originated from might be stretching the customer’s interests just a little, and as for the individual sheep, that might be taking things too far.

VeChain is proving to be popular with the fashion industry at the moment, as this is the second of such collaborations in just a matter of weeks. Recently, another partnership was formed with high-profile shoe artist SBTG in order to release an Adidas shoe containing NFC chips. Ingeniously, customers will be able to watch a video of their shoes being manufactured by scanning the embedded chip; all information which is stored on the VeChainThor blockchain.

VeChain is also setting its sights on China’s growing manufacturing market, hence its showcasing of the company and its blockchain solutions at China’s first International Import Expo (CIIE) which took place in Shanghai this month.

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Blockchain Birds Are Coming This Thanksgiving, Complete With ID

This Thanksgiving, 600,000 turkeys in the US are being delivered with a difference, as blockchain technology lends a hand.

Americans eat an estimated six billion pounds of turkey meat each year according to the US National Turkey Federation. Thanks to the Honeysuckle White Traceability Program, some of the 45 million Turkeys eaten this Thanksgiving, and a further 22 million consumed over the festive season, will be delivered as fully traceable birds from pen to oven, courtesy of DLT.

The company responsible is Cargill, one of the nation’s biggest suppliers of turkeys, based in Minnesota and founded in 1865. This year, the company has decided to go hi-tech and utilize blockchain in order to trace its birds from 70 contracted individual family turkey farms in Missouri and Texas.

The new blockchain traceability program will track around 600,000 Honeysuckle white hens which will eventually find their way into major stores such as Walmart, Kroger, Safeway, and Amazon. To promote the programme, a TV ad will explain the process of tracking the turkeys. Cargill’s Debra Bauler explained:

“Each Honeysuckle White turkey will have an identification code, which can be entered into a website that will guide the consumer to the specific farm that raised that exact turkey… And from a technology perspective, it represents the complete digitalization of the supply chain. We feel that both are long-term competitive advantages for our product.”

The idea is to link consumers to the farmers that raised the birds in an attempt to set a precedent for the future in terms of supply chain transparency and supplier product accountability. Fox Business Network commentator suggests that using blockchain solutions for supply chain management in this way may well become the industry norm:

“The average consumer of tomorrow will come to expect that they have full access to where the wheat in their bread was grown, what were the conditions of the cow that provided the milk in their ice cream, and who picked the grapes in their glass of Pinot. The Honeysuckle White traceability program is a watershed moment in the retail food industry.”

Participating farmers have been highly motivated by the programme and suggest that projects such as this will equip consumers with another way of looking at the production of the food which arrives on their tables. Participating farmer Sharon Albertson, who’s been supplying Cargill with turkeys for over 20 years, maintains, “Now, consumers can see how hard we work and all the effort and care that goes into getting that bird to the Thanksgiving Day table.”

French supermarket chain Carrefour recently introduced blockchain technology into a data system allowing shoppers in Auvergne, Southern France, to get a full detailed history of chickens on sale in their stores. The system offers a record of the chickens’ life from egg to supermarket. Shoppers can use a smartphone to scan in a code on the packaging to obtain details on each stage of production, including origins, earlier location, feed and where the meat was finally processed.

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