- Cargill is expanding its blockchain-basked turkey traceability program to cover metro areas in 30 states after receiving “overwhelming interest” from farmers, according to a press release.
- The program launched in a small pilot last year offering consumers only in Texas more information about the farms 60,000 Honeysuckle White-branded turkeys came from, via text or the Honeysuckle White website.
- This year, the program will cover 200,000 turkeys from 70 farms, representing one-third of the turkeys sold under the Honeysuckle White brand.
Farm-to-consumer traceability is a much-discussed application for blockchain technology since the immutable record offered by distributed ledger technology can record each link in the food chain in one place — uniting a plethora of digital and paper records as food changes hands on it’s way to the Thanksgiving table.
Walmart is using blockchain to trace problematic lettuces, for example. In fact, traceability for the purpose of determining the origin of foodborne illness is perhaps the most prominent application of the technology in the food system.
Consumers are increasingly curious about where their food comes from too, and the traceability offered by blockchain technology can provide that information.
In a recent survey conducted by the Label Insight and the Food Marketing Institute, 75% of consumers said they would switch to a brand that provides more in-depth product information, beyond what’s provided on the physical label. In 2016 that number was 39%.
Cargill names interest from farmers as a major motivator for expanding the program, and it’s no wonder since other parts of the supply chain have learned the hard way that blockchain initiatives can only be effective if all of the relevant players are on board.