UK Food Standards Agency Trials Blockchain Based Supply Chain

By Sumedha Bose

The UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) announced on Monday, that they will be making use of blockchain for a supply-chain monitoring system. The FSA is a branch of the government whose job is to ensure that vendors of food meet food standards regulations. The hygiene and quality of food served along with the hygiene of the conditions in which the food is made come under the purview of the FSA.

FSA successfully conducted a trial using blockchain technology in a cattle slaughterhouse. The data was tracked by both the FSA and the slaughterhouse. This is a groundbreaking move seeing that it is the first time blockchain has been used in this sector for regulation purposes.

Sian Thomas, Head of Information Management said, “This is a really exciting development. We thought that blockchain technology might add real value to a part of the food industry, such as a slaughterhouse, whose work requires a lot of inspection and collation of result … Our approach has been to develop data standards with industry that will make theory reality and I’m delighted that we’ve been able to show that blockchain does indeed work in this part of the food industry. I think there are great opportunities now for industry and government to work together to expand and develop this approach.”

To elaborate on the tracking process of the meat production, FSA have tracked all aspects of its production. This includes information about the movements of cattle from the moment they are ready to be brought to the slaughterhouse, to the actual transfer process, the period when they are in the slaughterhouse and definitely the part where they are processed and the final product is ready to go on the market.

What this achieves is that the customers can now access a full ‘transaction’ history of their meat, based on block details that would be printed on the meat’s packaging. This will ease their concerns about any ethics, animal cruelty or how their meat has been processed. We hope this inspires more government bodies to use blockchain since various other retailers like Walmart, JD.com, Alibaba, have already used blockchain to track food items.

Sumedha Bose

Sumedha uses words as her crutch to get by in life. She takes a keen interest in debating, dancing and destroying the patriarchy in her free time. She can be contacted at [email protected].

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