09/11/2017 09h00

BRF and Carrefour join IBM to improve food traceability

The Initiative aims to guarantee the quality of the products from its origin in the field to the supermarket shelves

BRF, one of the largest food companies in the world, and the Carrefour retail network joined IBM Brazil to develop the "Food Tracking" project to make product traceability through blockchain technology. The objective is to inform the consumer, in a simple and objective way, the origin of the food, considering all stages of the business: productive, commercial and logistics. The project was developed in Garage 11.57 - a space created by IBM to accelerate innovative projects and applications in the cloud.

According to Regina Nori, IBM Brazil's Technical Solutions Leader, concern about food safety and the reliability of food sources has been growing worldwide. "In Brazil, BRF and Carrefour are optimistic about the potential of blockchain technology to bring more visibility to compliance and quality," she explains.

The initial phase of the project, which also seeks to identify opportunities and scale the challenges in the application of the technological solution, includes a specific lot of frozen and sliced ​​pork loin of the Sadia brand. The project, using IBM's Blockchain platform based on Linux Foundation's Hyperledger Fabric, lasted eight weeks and the product was marketed in a network hypermarket in São Paulo (SP). "As production and distribution take place on a large scale in a number of countries and involve numerous business partners, we have seen the opportunity to evolve existing traceability solutions into a more collaborative and secure platform that enables products to be certified and quality assured from the field to the consumer. In the experiment conducted with Carrefour and IBM, the blockchain emerged as a viable alternative to meet those needs, "explains Ney Santos, vice president of technology at BRF.

From the reading of a QR Code affixed to the product, the consumer will have access to detailed information on the stages of production, distribution and availability of the product on the retail shelf.

Carrefour already has several certification, quality, socio-environmental and food safety programs in Brazil. In line with these commitments, the blockchain system expands the quality assurance of the products it markets throughout the country, offering another tool to customers who are increasingly concerned about the origin of the food they consume. 

About Blockchain

Blockchain is a technology used to make transactions reliably and securely. In this business model, it is possible for a group of institutions or individuals to create a single record of information that will be shared in that chain, in blocks, with application in all business areas where there is any type of asset transfer, tangible or intangible. All of this is supported by a cloud computing. In the context of the consumer products industry, Blockchain establishes a reliable environment for all transactions in which participants: producers, suppliers, processors, transporters, distributors, retailers, regulators and consumers can gain permissive access to consensual and reliable information on the origin and condition of the food. This allows members of this complex ecosystem to use this network of block chains, for example to track contaminated products in a short time to ensure safe shelf withdraw from stores and reduce the risk of spreading diseases.

Government Regulation

At the beginning of September, the Brazilian Government created a plan, the "O Melhor do Agro Brasileiro" (The Best of Brazilian Agro"), in which it encourages the agribusiness industry to be more transparent and guarantee the quality of its products, promoting the national agribusinesses globally. With adoptions of technologies such as Blockchain, many action plans for sustainability and productive assurance of Brazilian agribusiness could no longer be put into play, strengthening the image of this sector throughout the country.

About Grupo Carrefour Brasil

For more than 40 years in the country, the Grupo Carrefour Brasil is recognized as a pioneer in the retail market. From a omnichannel platform and Multiformat, is present in all States, plus the Federal District, which enables you to meet the different needs of its million customers spread across five regions of the country. Currently, it has the formats Carrefour (hypermarket and supermarket), Carrefour Express (retail proximity), (e-commerce), Atacadão (wholesale and wholesale self-service) and Supeco (wholesale self-service proximity ), as well as offering diverse services for the convenience of customers, such as gas stations, drugstores and financial services. The second largest operation among all the countries in which the Carrefour Group operates, the company registers each month about 26 million purchases in its more than 590 points of sales. With revenues of BRL R$ 49.1 billion in 2016 and a team of more than 80,000 employees in Brazil, the company is the largest food distributor in the country, the largest publicly traded retailer and one of the 15 largest companies listed on the Brazilian stock exchange. In the world, the Carrefour Group is present in more than 30 countries, 10 of which have its own operations and employ more than 384 thousand employees. With more than 12,000 stores spread across Europe, Asia and Latin America, it is present in the lives of 105 million customers. Currently, more than 13 million purchases are made each day in its various formats distributed around the world. In 2016, the company's turnover totaled € 103.7 billion.

About IBM

For more information about IBM, visit

Click on here to learn more about IBM's 100 years in Brazil.

IBM on Twitter:

Follow, the blog that unzips the technology.

About BRF

BRF is one of the largest food companies in the world, with more than 30 brands in its portfolio, including Sadia, Perdigão, Qualy, Paty, Dánica, Bocatti and Vienissima. Its products are marketed in more than 150 countries, on five continents. More than 90,000 employees work in the company, which maintains more than 50 factories in eight countries (Argentina, Brazil, United Arab Emirates, Netherlands, Malaysia, UK, Thailand and Turkey).