The team behind Cardano (ADA) blockchain, IOHK, have partnered with Wyoming-based BeefChain to utilize blockchain technology to improve food traceability and security.
IOHK, which relocated to Wyoming in 2019, announced the partnership at the Cardano 2020 virtual event. Chief Commercial Officer Jerry Fragiskatos stated the solution will benefit both consumers and producers by tackling issues including food safety and recalls.
The partnership will utilize DLT to standardize the tracking and recording processes for beef products along the supply chain from ranches to markets. BeefChain President Steven Lupien said it will result in a range of benefits across certification, traceability and consumer engagement:
“Our [BeefChain’s] partnership with IOHK brings state-of-the-art technology to ranchers […] We are not technologists [and] IOHK is providing the backbone to our system and it is secured, transparent, and scalable. IOHK has provided everything we needed and more.”
By partnering with IOHK, BeefChain will be better able to certify ranchers via a process verified program (PVP) which focuses on quality assurance metrics like grass-fed and zero hormone treatment beef products. RFID tag data will be stored on Cardano.
Lupien said consumers will receive QR code with the beef, linking them to information on the web about the beef and the ranch that produced it.
“[Our] Consumer product is there to enhance the consumer experience and to help educate the consumer about where their product comes from [...] back to the rancher where you can meet the ranching family that’s producing your product.”
The benefit are understood
Wyoming State Representative and BeefChain program manager Tyler Lindholm emphasized blockchain’s ability to reduce supply chain costs — for example, cutting down the time of a recall from days to seconds. He said that Walmart’s FoodTrust program had reduced a 6 day recall procedure down to 2.5 seconds and cut the cost of each recall by millions:
“As soon as they found out how quick they could do it, they immediately told all their producers, they don’t really have a choice and they need to transition immediately to their new system. So that was good for blockchain, that’s good for food safety and good for traceability.”
Australia is also fighting beef fraud
Australian beef tracing blockchain platform BeefLedger are another company who have understood the potential of DLT within the supply chain sector. Based in Australia they focus on food safety and fraud issues particularly for exports to China.
According to Beijing-based industry expert Ian Lahiffe, for every 1kg of genuine beef sold in China, there’s 3kg of beef that’s not from the country claimed.