This Thanksgiving, 600,000 turkeys in the US are being delivered with a difference, as blockchain technology lends a hand.
Americans eat an estimated six billion pounds of turkey meat each year according to the US National Turkey Federation. Thanks to the Honeysuckle White Traceability Program, some of the 45 million Turkeys eaten this Thanksgiving, and a further 22 million consumed over the festive season, will be delivered as fully traceable birds from pen to oven, courtesy of DLT.
The company responsible is Cargill, one of the nation’s biggest suppliers of turkeys, based in Minnesota and founded in 1865. This year, the company has decided to go hi-tech and utilize blockchain in order to trace its birds from 70 contracted individual family turkey farms in Missouri and Texas.
The new blockchain traceability program will track around 600,000 Honeysuckle white hens which will eventually find their way into major stores such as Walmart, Kroger, Safeway, and Amazon. To promote the programme, a TV ad will explain the process of tracking the turkeys. Cargill’s Debra Bauler explained:
“Each Honeysuckle White turkey will have an identification code, which can be entered into a website that will guide the consumer to the specific farm that raised that exact turkey… And from a technology perspective, it represents the complete digitalization of the supply chain. We feel that both are long-term competitive advantages for our product.”
The idea is to link consumers to the farmers that raised the birds in an attempt to set a precedent for the future in terms of supply chain transparency and supplier product accountability. Fox Business Network commentator suggests that using blockchain solutions for supply chain management in this way may well become the industry norm:
“The average consumer of tomorrow will come to expect that they have full access to where the wheat in their bread was grown, what were the conditions of the cow that provided the milk in their ice cream, and who picked the grapes in their glass of Pinot. The Honeysuckle White traceability program is a watershed moment in the retail food industry.”
Participating farmers have been highly motivated by the programme and suggest that projects such as this will equip consumers with another way of looking at the production of the food which arrives on their tables. Participating farmer Sharon Albertson, who’s been supplying Cargill with turkeys for over 20 years, maintains, “Now, consumers can see how hard we work and all the effort and care that goes into getting that bird to the Thanksgiving Day table.”
French supermarket chain Carrefour recently introduced blockchain technology into a data system allowing shoppers in Auvergne, Southern France, to get a full detailed history of chickens on sale in their stores. The system offers a record of the chickens’ life from egg to supermarket. Shoppers can use a smartphone to scan in a code on the packaging to obtain details on each stage of production, including origins, earlier location, feed and where the meat was finally processed.
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