Today Danone said it has launched the Track & Connect service, which uses the blockchain to ensure transparency for products called “Baby Formula” that end up in the bellies of children around the world.
Actually, for now the project is only working in China, but by the end of the year it will also reach France, Germany, Australia and New Zealand.
According to recent studies, China is the first country in the world to produce counterfeit goods, an industry worth as much as 323 billion dollars. And even food is not excluded, which makes it necessary, especially for the protection of children, the intervention of technology.
This is how the solution works, and all in all it would not even serve the blockchain, but the mere trust in Danone as a company.
Each Danone product will henceforth contain two barcodes on the packaging and, once scanned, shows when the product was manufactured, where and how it arrived on the shelf.
The other QR code is behind a seal and can only be scanned after the product has been purchased.
“With this innovation in packaging and data management, we will be able to offer one of the most comprehensive traceability services in the baby formula industry and connect more closely with our consumers and retailers to offer them after-sales services they appreciate,” said David Boulanger, SVP Operations at Danone Specialized Nutrition.
Why use the blockchain?
It is not yet clear which blockchain is being used.
Anyway, the blockchain is a rather useless tool in these cases: it’s true, it’s against any third party tampering, assuming it’s a real decentralized blockchain, but the data is uniquely entered by Danone, so any archive would be enough.
Moreover, the second barcode is practically useless: if the purchase has already been made and therefore a payment has been made at most what will happen if it is discovered that the product is not in Danone’s register, you will throw it away and maybe you won’t go shopping in that store anymore, but you will hardly get a refund from the dealer, for example.
Anyway, other companies like Nestlé and Carrefour are already using the IBM Food Trust blockchain for similar purposes and even in these cases the real usefulness of this operation is questioned, especially if you don’t use decentralized blockchain.