January 18, 2019 12:08 AM
The list of blockchain-related food tracking systems keeps getting longer.
The World Wildlife Fund-Australia (WWF-Australia) and BCG Digital Ventures (BCGDV) have partnered together to launch OpenSC, a supply chain platform that uses blockchain technology to allow businesses and consumers to track food production. OpenSC’s aim is to improve accountability and transparency, and to “help businesses and consumers avoid illegal, environmentally damaging or unethical products.”
Businesses that sign up to be a part of OpenSC will use product QR codes that attach to the business’ product, like seafood. When the fish is caught, the QR code is attached and scanned. It’s then scanned again at the point of production, recording the locations on the immutable blockchain.
When consumers scan the fish’s QR code with a smartphone, they will be able to find information on where the product was caught and where it went during production, ensuring that the product has come from a “certified sustainable fishery and was not caught inside an established marine protected area.”
WWF-Australia also hopes to use the information stored on the blockchain for more than food tracking. In a press release about OpenSC, WWF-Australia CEO Dermot O’Gorman explained, “Through OpenSC, we will have a whole new level of transparency about whether the food we eat is contributing to environmental degradation of habitats and species, as well as social injustice and human rights issues such as slavery.”
OpenSC arrives on the tail end of a handful of blockchain-based food tracking, management, and improvement initiatives in the last half of 2018.
In November, Cargill, the Minnesota-based corporation behind the Honeysuckle White turkey brand, used the Hyperledger Sawtooth blockchain platform to offer traceable turkeys. Seventy family farms throughout Missouri and Texas participated in the program, with 200,000 fresh turkeys available for customers to track.
Similarly, in December, BeefLedger, an Australia-based blockchain provenance, security, and payments platform, partnered with National Transport Insurance for a blockchain trial run. The two companies piloted a blockchain-based supply chain to track Australian beef from South Australia to New South Wales (for processing) and then to Shanghai (for consumption).
“Buyers along the supply chain want transparency to know what they are buying. Even for consumers, they want transparency into what they are eating, where it came from, etc.”
Nicholas Ruggieri studied English with an emphasis in creative writing at the University of Nevada, Reno. When he’s not quoting Vines at anyone who’s willing to listen, you’ll find him listening to too many podcasts, reading too many books, and crocheting too many sweaters for his dogs, RT and Peterman.
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