Fishy Tales on Blockchain from Sea to Table

At New York’s Ethereal Summit on 11 and 12 May, hosted by Ethereum startup ConsenSys, attendees were treated to a documentary film showing the advantages of blockchain supply train tracking, reports Coindesk.

The film, entitled ‘Bait to Plate’, produced by Viant, an Ethereum-based supply chain management startup, charted the journey of a huge Yellowfin tuna caught in the waters off Fiji. The film followed the fish being caught, packaged and then shipped, and finally appearing on the plates of the lucky attendees at the conference.

The fish, served in Japanese style as sushi, served as a graphic example of how blockchain has improved supply train tracking since its inception and subsequent adoption by many companies around the world.

Viant co-founder Kishore Atreya illustrated the success of the tracking system, which answers one of  consumers’ main concerns regarding the origins of food products, “Those who ate the sushi knew exactly where their fish was coming from.”

Blockchain is increasingly being utilized for storing and tracking of data across a wider spectrum of sectors, including the food supply chain. A recent report by global market research company, Nielsen, has revealed that 75% of consumers cited the national origin of their food products as often more important than other factors, such as quality and price.

Another factor is health; tracking food products in this way, particularly meat, poultry, and fish, which have a very limited shelf life, can be difficult to control with absolute accuracy using conventional methods.

The Fiji example, according to Coindesk, is significant, as blockchain allows consumers to examine who produces the product. It’s been recorded that tuna has been fished in the south pacific using slave labor; a fact that most consumers would find objectionable given the information. Consequently, the transparency that DLT offers has the potential to become an effective deterrent to such activities.

Another Viant co-founder, Tyler Mulvihill, suggests, “One of most primal things is what we eat. But we become disconnected with that and blockchain is a great way of bringing that connection back.”

The process explained in the short film, demonstrated how the tuna was tagged with a frequency identifier tag with its own unique tracking number. The coordinates were then tagged on the Ethereum blockchain, showing that it was caught legally and in sustainable waters. Finally, the processing of the fish and who had handled it had been logged on the blockchain to its final arrival at the Ethereal Summit kitchens.

During the event, the sushi was served on a napkin featuring a QR code that could be scanned with a smartphone to reveal the precise details of the fish’s journey from Fiji to Queens.

 

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