Nestlé joins OpenSC platform for more transparent supply chain

23 July 2019 3 min. read

Nestlé has become the first major food & beverage (F&B) company to try its hand at the OpenSC blockchain platform, developed as a collaborative effort between the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and BCG Digital Ventures to make supply chain operations more transparent. 

The Swiss multinational, which generates revenues of around AU$132 billion, is set to enter a pilot phase with the new technology, which is consistent with the general trend in its operations over the last few years. In April this year, Néstle partnered with retail chain Carrefour to offer a blockchain-based overview of its supply chain for Mousline purée.

Using their smartphone, consumers could trace individual packages of the purée from Nestlé factories to the Carrefour stores. The initiative demonstrated the company’s willingness for transparency and its familiarity with the blockchain paradigm. Néstle will now attempt to use the OpenSC platform to offer transparency across a broader scope of its operations.

OpenSC was launched in January this year, with the objective of providing consumers with detailed information about the background of any given product. Each product is labeled with a digital tag or QR code, which customers can scan with their phones to obtain its background.

Nestlé joins OpenSC platform for more transparent supply chain

The platform is designed to allow consumers to discern between the ethics and legality of the practices that produce their food. WWF and BCG Digital Ventures – a subsidiary of global management consulting firm Boston Consulting Group – hope that the added transparency will deter food producers from engaging in practices that have been largely condemned by a large consumer base.

“Through OpenSC, we will have a whole new level of transparency about whether the food we eat is contributing to the environmental degradation of habitats and species, as well as social injustice and human rights issues such as slavery,” explained Dermot O’Gorman, CEO of WWF Australia at the time of OpenSC’s launch in January.

In the pilot phase, Nestlé will offer a trace on milk from dairy farms in New Zealand to Nestlé’s manufacturing and storage units in the Middle East, following which OpenSC’s capabilities will be tested in tracing palm oil from the Americas.

Commenting on the new platform, Nestlé’s Head of Operations and Executive Vice President Magdi Batato 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.”