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Swiss Supermarket Chain Migros Adopts Blockchain

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Swiss supermarket chain Migros implemented blockchain-powered food traceability for its fresh fruits and vegetables supply chains to enable quicker distribution and reduced food waste. The Supply chain optimization is also part of the European Food Safety Authority's (EFSA) initiatives for the next years.

The retail chain will automatically integrate the food traceability data from its fresh food suppliers with Migros' own Electronic Product Code Information Services (EPCIS) system using blockchain with the assistance of TE-FOOD.

The authenticity of the data will be verified on the FoodChain, TE-FOOD's global traceability information ledger. However, Migros said the system will be initially used internally and will later be opened for access to customers.

TE-FOOD claims to help improve food safety, eliminate food frauds, and decrease costs of the supply chain companies. Its software and identification tools are applied to livestock, transports, and fresh food packages to follow the items throughout the supply chain.

The Swiss chain, operates supermarkets, restaurants, food producers, gas stations, convenience stores, bookstores, and the fifth-largest bank in Switzerland.

The lack of traceability information and the slow regulatory responses have been causing consumer dissatisfaction. It often takes weeks during food-related outbreaks to find the source of contamination in the supply chain, which can contain hundreds of companies residing in several countries.

The use of blockchain can help authorities respond quicker to mitigate the effects of outbreaks, while the food companies can quickly and efficiently make targeted product recalls.

A new report from Label Insight and the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) revealed that 75 percent of shoppers say they will switch to a brand that provides more in-depth product information, beyond what's provided on the physical label.

Recently, the U.S.-based Walmart, Walmart China, US retail chain Albertsons Companies, the French Carrefour, and the Dutch Albert Heijn retail chains started trying blockchain technology in the supply chain for food traceability.

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