Now that the blockchain use cases have accelerated its pace, why should Albert Heijn lag behind? Albert Heijn B.V. is the largest Dutch supermarket chain, founded in 1887 in Oostzaan, Netherlands has acquired to offer fair & transparent trade to its customers. It is actively focusing to use blockchain technology to create the production chain of its own-brand more sustainable orange juice completely transparent, in partnership with its supplier, Refresco.
Its consumers have never been able to follow the chain of a product like orange juice in this way. With the help of QR code on the packaging, they can access and track the entire route traveled by a bottle of orange juice, from the grove to the store shelf more transparently.
Albert Heijn’s Commercial Director Marit van Egmond said, “Every day we provide millions of customers with delicious food and drinks. That is a big responsibility. We want to make an active contribution to issues that are important to our customers – by making our products healthier, reducing food waste and limiting our impact on the environment. Transparency in the chain is becoming increasingly important. We know all the steps that our products go through to ensure that they are produced with respect for people, animals, and the environment and we want to show these steps to our customers, in an open and transparent way.”
With this, Albert Heijn is expected to have partnered for years with the growers and suppliers of its 11,000 own-brand products. Amongst all the products, the fruits, and vegetables coming from the Netherlands having easy production process in place to understand. While the products with a longer chain or several ingredients have a complex production process in place. With the application of blockchain a technology that tracks and records every step in the entire chain, streamlines the entire process easier for customers by showing how and by whom products are made, even in more complex cases, it helps. Albert Heijn and Refresco are using blockchain for the first time in this own-brand sustainable orange juice in order to strategize the entire ecosystem in place.
Additionally, customers can start using the QR code on the packaging to follow the entire route that the orange juice start its journey before it reaches their shopping cart a final destination. As part of the entire process, it initiates at the Rainforest Alliance-certified orange groves of LDC Juice in Brazil where the fruit is harvested. Besides this, the quality marks the growers have in place for food safety and sustainability will also be demonstrated through the blockchain technology. The new age technology blockchain also includes information about the oranges with their features like the picking period and degree of sweetness. With the help of technology in place, customers can access the certain details in the chain and can make a payment with a compliment to the growers with a “Like2Farmer” functionality.
Amid this the Managing Director of Refresco Benelux, Maarten Kusters said in his statement, “This is a unique way to bring the grower, processor, bottler, retailer and consumer together and make the entire process of producing fruit juice transparent. We are delighted that we, as a partner of Albert Heijn, can contribute to this process.” Murilo Prada, CEO of LDC Juice, agrees that this is a great opportunity for all involved and says “The project also illustrates the immense potential of blockchain technology.”
Besides this, the CEO Rainforest Alliance congratulated Albert Heijn on the new initiative, Han de Groot further explained the matter saying that “It is nice that so many consumers can enjoy orange juice that contributes to improving the environment and the future of orange farmers and their families. More and more consumers want to know where their food comes from and how it is made, so it’s great that customers can follow the route of their orange juice. We encourage other parties to follow this example.”