Chickens on the Blockchain, Courtesy of IBM


Another application for blockchain and it ain’t chicken feed. Nope, it’s the chicken itself. It seems blockchain technology can be applied to make the food chain safer and much more efficient. The very same technology that is the backbone of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies can keep tabs on every chicken in the coop (wow, that’s a job). Carrefour, one of France’s big grocers, tracks every chicken it sells under its house brand, which is just insane. Think about safety, making sure products aren’t tainted. Are the birds really organic? And on and on. Almost every major food distributor worldwide is working on blockchain platforms to do the same as Carrefour (they did theirs in house). Oh, and who’s working on these platforms? IBM….if you care to know. Obviously this won’t end with chickens. Think pigs, cows, turkeys, etc each with their own “file”. Hmmmm, each of those animal groups has tons of friends so I’ll bet Facebook will be “collecting” their private data pretty soon. Chicken #56822 loves yellow corn seed.
(Bill Taylor/Managing Editor)

“Did the chicken you just buy at the supermarket have a nice life, roam free, and eat healthy grains? If you’re the kind of person who cares, Carrefour SA, the big France-based grocery chain, has the bird for you. Every chicken it sells under its house brand comes complete with its very own life story, thanks to the wonders of blockchain software. All you need to do is scan the label with your smartphone to get all the details.

This is the same technology that serves as the backbone of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The grocery giant isn’t just trying to appeal to discriminating foodies. It wants to do whatever it can to ensure its products aren’t tainted, part of a broader industry trend that buys into the as-yet-unproven promise that blockchain can improve food safety.

Nestlé, Dole Food, Unilever, and Tyson Foods are working with their biggest customer, Walmart. Kroger and, China’s second-largest e-commerce operator, have also joined the same blockchain platform built by International Business Machines Corp. Carrefour developed its own system in-house.

“There’s no question about it, blockchain will do for food traceability what the internet did for communication,” says Frank Yiannas, Walmart Inc.’s vice president for food safety and health.

Yiannas cites estimates that for every 1 percent reduction in food-borne diseases in the U.S., the economy would benefit by about $700 million from increased productivity, thanks to reduced illness and fewer days lost at work…”

Source: Bloomberg