Is this really Champagne? How blockchain technology boosts business, consumers and farmers
Catherine Drew in Paris

Blockchain is a shared unchangeable ledger that allows the process of recording transactions and tracking assets. It's known around the world as the base of cryptocurrencies. 

But the technology is increasingly being used in businesses, allowing everyone, including the consumer to see just where products are coming from and where they are going.

The produce of France, from wines and cheeses to pork and beef, has been showcased this week at the annual Salon de l'agriculture in Paris. But as trade becomes more and more global, how can suppliers and consumers ensure they're getting what they pay for and know how the products have been made? 


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That's where blockchain technology can play a role, according to the sales director of Crystalchain, a French tech company which began in 2016.

"With blockchain technology, you can trace in the finance or crypto world but basically you can trace any kind of data," Hugo Sereys tells CGTN Europe. "For us, the basic use of the blockchain is to keep information in the blockchain, secure in the blockchain, no one can delete or modify it."

He says the cloud-based software began as a response to rising consumer demand to know more about products and their production chain, but is increasingly needed by businesses to demonstrate CSR, or corporate social responsibility policies.

"Now our clients are using traceability data to ensure their commitment to CSR to prove to the final customer, they are truly on their way to have a good impact on the planet," he adds.

France's food produce has been on show in Paris at the Salon de l'agriculture. /CGTN Europe
France's food produce has been on show in Paris at the Salon de l'agriculture. /CGTN Europe

France's food produce has been on show in Paris at the Salon de l'agriculture. /CGTN Europe

Crystalchain has customers across Europe. Bordeaux-based Cordier wines is one. Communications manager Caroline Galmard says there's a limit on how much information can fit on a label – so a QR code can let consumers know much more about the product.

"The beauty of blockchain for me is to reconnect the one who makes the wine to the one who drinks the wine," Galmard says. "Because [previously] there is a gap between the one who made the wine and the one who drinks the wine. With blockchain now there is not a gap.”

From deforestation and chemical use to sustainable water consumption, there are many areas of corporate responsibility that can remain hidden from the end consumer. Many now believe blockchain technology will be further expanded across the wider business world as demand grows for openness, traceability and accountability.


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