Nestlé is partnering with blockchain technology platform OpenSC claiming to offer traceability “right back to the farm”, starting with milk.

OpenSC is a supply-chain tool founded by World Wildlife Fund-Australia and California-based venture capital firm The Boston Consulting Group Digital Ventures.

Zurich-listed Nestlé, the world’s largest food manufacturer, said in a statement today (2 July) it “becomes the first major food and beverage company to announce that it will pilot open blockchain technology in this way”. 

“This is part of Nestlé’s journey towards full transparency,” it said.

The initial pilot programme will trace milk from farms and producers in New Zealand to Nestlé factories and warehouses in the Middle East. It will later be extended to palm oil sourced in “the Americas”. 

Magdi Batato, the executive vice president and head of operations at Nestlé, said: “We want our consumers to make an informed decision on their choice of products – to choose products produced responsibly. Open blockchain technology might allow us to share reliable information with consumers in an accessible way.”

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Nestlé said it has been testing blockchain technology since 2017, most prominently with IBM Food Trust, which also provides farm-to-table transparency platforms. And in April, it teamed up with French retailer Carrefour to give consumers access to blockchain traceability data for Mousline purée made by the food giant. 

The initiatives build on efforts by Nestlé to boost transparency in its supply chains across the business after announcing in February it planned to reveal its commodity sources.
Speaking about the latest project, Benjamin Ware, the global head of responsible sourcing at Nestlé, said: “This open blockchain technology will allow anyone, anywhere in the world to assess our responsible sourcing facts and figures. We believe it is another important step towards the full disclosure of our supply chains announced by Nestlé in February this year, raising the bar for transparency and responsible production globally.”