Dutch Supermarket Chain Albert Heijn Using Blockchain To Track Orange Juice Production

News | September 21, 2018 By:

Dutch supermarket chain Albert Heijn has partnered with Netherlands-based drinks bottler Refresco to make orange juice supply chain more transparent using blockchain technology.

Founded in 1887, Albert Heijn is the largest supermarket chain the Netherlands. In early 2000s, it is regarded as one of the more expensive supermarkets in the Netherlands due to its focus on quality stores and superior products. However, after a price war – initiated by Albert Heijn itself and involving nearly all Dutch supermarket chains – the prices are now back at a normal level again. Albert Heijn’s market share is currently around 30%.

Refresco is an independent bottler of beverages for retailers and A-brands with production in Europe, North America and Mexico. It offers an extensive range of product and packaging combinations from 100% fruit juices to carbonated soft drinks and mineral waters in carton, PET, Aseptic PET, cans and glass.

The two companies will be introducing a blockchain platform, developed by tech firm Supply Chain Information Management (SIM), that will allow consumers to track the supply chain of orange juice stocked by Albert Heijn and sourced from Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC)’s juice business. Through a QR code on the packaging, consumers will be able to track the entire route travelled by a bottle of orange juice, from the grove to the store shelf. The data from the various steps in the production chain are linked and made transparent.

The blockchain platform will also provide information about the oranges themselves, including the harvest date range and degree of sweetness. Consumers will be able to see these details in the chain and have the option to send a compliment to the growers with the “Like2Farmer” functionality.

Marit van Egmond, Albert Heijn’s Commercial Director, said that they want to make an active contribution on issues that are important to their customers – by making their products healthier, reducing food waste and limiting our impact on the environment.

“Transparency in the chain is becoming increasingly important,” said van Egmond. “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.”

Maarten Kusters, Managing Director Refresco Benelux, said that the new blockchain system 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,” Kusters said.