With emerging digital technology driving procurement transformation endeavours as never before, Swiss multinational food and beverage giant, Nestlé, is leading the way with a bold new blockchain-powered initiative, which it says will deliver full supply chain transparency. The move, developed in collaboration with Australian-US blockchain platform, OpenSC, looks set to add a new dimension to supply relationship management, providing access to verified, and unfalsifiable, sustainability and supply chain data. It will allow observers to track food products back to the farm of origin.
With the company’s strategic sourcing increasingly becoming sustainable sourcing, Nestlé’s Global Head of Responsible Sourcing, Benjamin Ware, commented: “This open blockchain technology will allow anyone, anywhere in the world to assess our responsible sourcing facts and figures.” The pilot will focus on milk sourced from farms in New Zealand, which is then transferred to factories and warehouses owned and run by Nestlé in the Middle East. Additionally included in the pilot will be palm oil sourced from the Americas.
Nestlé’s Executive VP and Head of Operations, Magdi Batato, added: “We want our consumers to make an informed decision on their choice of products and choose products produced responsibly.” Mr Ware clarified that the new pilot was part of the company’s commitment to providing “full disclosure of supply chains,” which it announced in February this year. Nestlé, he added, had been testing blockchain technology since 2017, work that had involved collaboration with Carrefour on the IBM Food Trust platform in April this year.
In keeping with its commitment to sustainable practices, Nestlé has also launched a biodegradable confectionary wrapper for its “YES!” snack bar range; the wrapper can dissolve harmlessly in the sea within six months. The wrapper was created using specially coated paper, which required the adaptation of packaging machinery and materials to handle it. Nestlé has declared that it intends to meet targets for recyclable or reusable packaging by 2025.