Farmers Introduce Blockchain To Help Clean Up The Industry

  • Blockchain baring farmers will use the technology to help track and source their products
  • Provenance, a supply chain tracking system will be used by over 200 clients from winemakers to fishermen
  • Customers will be able to see the history of the product they are looking at more easily than ever before

FARMERS in Arkansas are using blockchain to track, source and thus clean up the dubious side of the meat industry. Customers will also be able to trace the precise history of other foods and products.

A collective of small-scale livestock farmers known as the Grass Roots Farmers’ Cooperative is the first food business in the United States to use Provenance, a supply chain tracking system powered by blockchain technology.

The digital platform was founded in 2013 and has financial backing from one of the founders of Ebay.

It provides services to over 200 clients in the EU from winemakers to fishermen and clothing companies.

Provenance allows consumers to trace the precise history of a product, back to the farm of origin

Blockchain is giving small-scale companies the ability to demonstrate traceability thanks to something akin to third-party verification. 

Jessi Baker, founder of Provenance, told Modern Farmer: “A blockchain is essentially a fancy database. no one owns the database, and no one can change the data once it’s been entered. For small food companies who want to demonstrate traceability, it’s like having a third-party verification, without having to go through an expensive auditing process.”

How Does It Work?

Modern Farmer suggests that In the case of a chicken leg produced, the farmer enters the conditions in which the chickens were raised, their location, the number of birds in the “batch,” and the date they were delivered to the processor.

The processor then enters the date and time the birds were slaughtered, along with any information about their own operation. The process continues down the supply chain from the processor to distributor to retailer.

Baker added: “Blockchains have a lot of the characteristics of any conventional database, but they add some special powers. Because they hold data that is immutable, you don’t need to be worried about people changing or duplicating the information.”

Information about third-party certifications, like USDA Organic or Certified Humane, may also be entered into the blockchain. 

When the consumers pick up that chicken at the grocery store, they encounter a QR code on the package; click on it and find all the information contained in the blockchain related to that particular batch of chicken, compiled in a user-friendly format. They are able to instantly verify where that chicken came from.

Baker said: “The idea of Provenance is to guarantee that a company is indeed buying their products from high-quality sources. It is an attempt to take traceability to the next level.”

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