A group of livestock farmers in Arkansas, supported by Heifer USA, is using blockchain technology so customers can tell where their dinner comes from – what you might call ‘meat’ your blockchain. The Grass Roots Farmers’ Cooperative will apply blockchain technology to trace its products from ‘farm to fork’. Its aim is to provide consumers with information about the origin and quality of the meat they buy.
“Americans have an increasing interest in better understanding what they’re eating. According to the 2016 Label Insight Study, 83 percent of consumers want more information about what’s in their food, and I totally believe it,” said Cody Hopkins, Grass Roots general manager and founding member. “When I learned about this technology, I thought ‘this is the solution.’ It’s the perfect way for Grass Roots to offer folks total transparency. [UK-based technology company] Provenance has developed a platform that levels the playing field for small-scale farmers and puts information directly in consumers’ hands.”
How will you ‘meat’ your blockchain?
Already a mainstay in the financial sector, blockchain technology enables verification of information. In this food chain example, shoppers and diners will scan QR codes placed on Grass Roots products. These codes will inform them:
- from where the meat came
- how that location raised the animals.
In addition, a ‘digital meat history’ will include stories of the people — from farmer to butcher — who contributed to the final product. (There is no mention or picture of the original cow: that is probably understandable.)