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AB InBev trials blockchain to track and trace barley supply chain

AB InBev is trialling a new programme in Europe that uses blockchain technology to provide its beer consumers with an end-to-end view of its barley supply chain.  

The brewer has launched the new pilot programme to give full transparency and traceability in its supply chain of barley, from consumer back to the farm.

The owner of Budweiser, Stella Artois and Corona says it already works directly with 60% of its farming base – around 20,000 growers across 13 countries and five continents – supporting with agronomy skills, tools and research to improve productivity, profitability and sustainability.

However, this pilot programme is designed for the remaining 40% of its indirect farmers, many of whom are located in European countries such as France, Germany and the UK.

The project – which will begin with Leffe packs in France next year – will mean consumers can scan a QR code on a pack of beer and learn about where the barley is grown, reaped and malted.  

Using a blockchain technology platform deployed by SettleMint, the pilot will begin by connecting barley farmers in the north east of France with one malthouse in Antwerp, Belgium and the Stella Artois brewery in Leuven, Belgium.

AB InBev says the data collected will not only provide an end-to-end view of the supply chain to consumers, but can help to advance agricultural development such as improving farmers’ yields and their environmental footprint.

“For the first time in our European operations, this project will create a fully transparent, indirect supply network all the way to the end consumer,” said Pieter Bruyland, CIO for Europe at AB InBev. 

He added: “By connecting players across the beer supply chain – from farmers, malting cooperatives, breweries, warehouses and carriers – to one secure, decentralised platform we can increase traceability and gather data that will help us to continue to grow the finest ingredients for our beers sustainably.”

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