Blockchain to follow beef from ‘paddock to plate’

Dutch supermarket puts orange juice on blockchain
Credit: whiteMocca

Researchers in Australia have utilised blockchain technology to help track beef from the paddock to plate in a bid to protect the nation’s beef production.

Dubbed ‘BeefLedger’, the potentially game-changing platform is an industry-led project which brings together design, business, technology and food research.

Marcus Foth, Professor of Urban Informatics at Queensland University of Technology Design Lab, said the platform is one of the first cabs off the rank supported by the QUT-based $200 million Food Agility CRC.

“The BeefLedger Token, or BLT, is being developed as part of the design and implementation of the world’s first application of distributed ledger or blockchain technology to the entire beef supply chain,” Professor Foth said.

“It has the potential to revolutionise the industry by limiting price fluctuations, supporting food provenance and preventing food fraud, which is a growing problem in international export markets.

“If you are a consumer of Australian beef in China, Japan or elsewhere, then you are expecting a premium experience and not inferior meat being passed off as Australian, which has been the subject of recent food scandals.

“The BLT will power the BeefLedger Blockchain and provide users with the value-added benefits of access to credentialed provenance data, sale history, consumer feedback insights, disease prevention, streamlining payments, and heightened food security.

“So whether you are a farmer, a supermarket, a butcher, a restaurateur, a consumer or another interested party, you will be able to access the entire history of the meat electronically by scanning a barcode or QR Code.”

BeefLedger was designed to be a wholesale data platform that delivers credentialed food provenance data to consumers, driving value growth for the supply chain as a whole and delivering additional income to producers in recognition of product provenance excellence.

Professor Foth said BeefLedger would also return benefits to communities in regional Australia as credentialed food provenance lifts the veil between producers and consumers.

“What we hope to see is a fairer and more sustainable supply chain, which is better for everyone – including regional communities – over the long run,” he said.