Danone Utilizes Blockchain Technology For Tracking Baby Formula
Yesterday Danone revealed its Track & Connect service, a blockchain food traceability solution to offer more comprehensive transparency for its baby formula brands, including Aptamil. It has already launched in China and will be worked out this year in France, Australia, Germany, and New Zealand.
The choice of China for the launch may not just be linked to market size. There have been various scandals in China about baby milk and vaccines. In 2008 six babies died from kidney stones, and 54,000 were hospitalized after copious amounts of melamine were found in infant formula.
In 2018 a Chinese firm traded substandard vaccines utilized on babies as young as three months old. And China is bothered with counterfeits.
While Danone states, the solution gives transparency from farm-to-fork as well as after-sales support and services, the plan points to an anti-counterfeit solution. Barcodes are straightforward to copy, except unique technology is utilized, such as ScanTrust‘s.
Danone’s solution is to apply two barcodes. One appears on the outside packaging. If scanned with a mobile app, it shows when the product was manufactured and its trip to the store. And another barcode is laser printed back a tamper-resistant seal, which can be scanned after purchase. That verifies the authenticity, and if the same code has already been scanned, it will trigger an alarm.
The solution seems similar to one from SAP, and Danone is a consumer of SAP (awaiting confirmation).
Ultimately, Danone plans to implement additional services, such as health and nutrition apps.
“Thanks to this innovation in packaging and data management, we’ll be able to offer one of the most comprehensive traceability services in the baby formula industry and connect more closely to our consumers and retailers to offer them after-sales services they value,” said David Boulanger, SVP Operations, Danone Specialized Nutrition.
Danone, with 2018 revenues of €24.7 billion, intends to become certified as a B Corp – a business that evaluates profit and purpose.
An Italian subsidiary of Kraft Heinz, Plasmon, is examining blockchain for baby food in collaboration with the local agriculture ministry. And TE-FOOD tracks organic infant formula for Vietnam’s largest milk company, Vinamilk.