The United Kingdom Food Services Agency (FSA) has successfully piloted the use of blockchain technology in a slaughterhouse, marking the first time that blockchain has been used as a tool to regulate the food sector.
FSA’s head of information management, Sian Thomas, says, “We thought that blockchain technology might add real value to a part of the food industry, such as a slaughterhouse, whose work requires a lot of inspection and collation of results. Our approach has been to develop data standards with industry that will make theory reality and I’m delighted that we’ve been able to show that blockchain does indeed work in this part of the food industry.”
During the pilot both the slaughterhouse and FSA had access to data in the blockchain, improving transparency of the food supply chain. More importantly, this creates trust across the supply chain, since blockchain ledgers are immutable and highly resistant to manipulation or hacks. Therefore, the FSA and other participants in the food supply chain know that the data in the blockchain hasn’t been tampered with and is accurate.
In July 2018, the FSA will be conducting another pilot where farmers can access the blockchain and view data about their farm animals. If this is successful, blockchain technology will be implemented across the entire food supply chain that is under FSA jurisdiction. However, they note that data from FSA is limited to inspection reports, and the industry would need to lead the way for full adoption.
Blockchain technology will provide transparent and trustworthy data about the food supply chain, revealing inefficiencies, ultimately leading to a shorter and stronger food supply chain that provides fresher food at lower costs.
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