In the beef industry, blockchain is especially innovative insofar as it can securely and efficiently demonstrate consumer-relevant information about a cut of meat; its origin, quality assurance, and most importantly, proof of regulatory compliance. This begins with the tagging of the cow on the farm, and incorporating features about its origin, beef grade, and nutrition information onto the blockchain. A health professional can then inspect the meat and digitally sign a quality assurance certificate before the meat is packaged and transported in temperature-monitored vehicles to the end consumer. In such an instance, all of the information about the cow (its origin, health check, and the temperature conditions of its transportation) can be uploaded to the blockchain and connected into a single integrated data flow.
The enhanced benefit for the beef industry, beyond increasing consumer trust, is that blockchain records cannot be changed and can be stored indefinitely. As such, the current paper-based regulation mechanism that the Korean government requires can be digitized to improve the ease with which beef producers can demonstrate regulatory compliance to the relevant authorities.
For future food recalls, blockchain-based tracking systems can additionally pinpoint responsible stakeholders, identify the contaminated product batch, and allow for timely decisions to made; Ambrosus even offers a ‘product recall’ application that specializes in helping companies manage such food outbreaks.
Finally, in terms of the adoption of blockchain technology, the recent announcement of the Korean government in diverting funds towards such initiatives will only strengthen the appeal of blockchain-based quality assurance systems. Of particular note however, is that this trend is truly global: Ambrosus itself has been recognized by the European Union sponsored EIT Food Program as a ‘Rising Food Star’, and in the coming days I will be speaking with the European Parliament on a similar subject.