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Co-op trials blockchain technology

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THE Co-operative Group is trialling a new blockchain technology that can be used to track food from source to ensure its authenticity and sustainability.

The Co-op food division is currently conducting its own trial with Provenance – which created blockchain technology – on fresh food products. The trial is expected to finish later this year.

The digital technology has already been used in another trial to track fish from trawler to the supermarket in a bid to revolutionise the way we source food in the hope that it could help end human rights abuses and illegal fishing.

Provenance is about to begin another round of seed funding after initial government funding.

Blockchain works by creating a publicly immutable ledger of transactions that can ensure claims made on food labels are correct.

The technology is expected to revolutionise the worlds of finance and property as well as the food supply chain. The company is also in talks with luxury retailers about potential uses.

It is also working with smaller companies allowing them to prove the artisanal or craft nature of their products by creating a digitally based history which consumers are able to view via a smartphone.

“Co-op are very progressive in view of what a supermarket should be, and is pioneering like it has been with Fairtrade,” Provenance founder Jessi Baker said.

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