UK Food Watchdog Trials Blockchain for Meat Inspection

The U.K.'s food watchdog announced its success in a pilot project tracking and monitoring data about meat on the blockchain.

Jul 2, 2018 at 8:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 8:07 a.m. UTC

The U.K.'s Food Standards Agency (FSA), a safety watchdog, announced Monday it has successfully piloted a blockchain-based supply chain monitoring system.

The trial tracked meat produced in an unnamed cattle slaughterhouse, providing "improved transparency" throughout the supply chain, according to a press release. Both the slaughterhouse and the FSA tracked data provided in the trial.

FSA head of information management Sian Thomas said in a statement that his agency thought "blockchain technology might add real value to a part of the food industry."

A slaughterhouse in particular was chosen because its "work requires a lot of inspection and collation of results," he said.

He added:

"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."

Following the pilot, additional programs will be tested to give farmers access to data about their animals in July.

While this trial may have been the first time the regulatory agency used a blockchain to monitor food supply chains, various retailers have already begun experimenting with the use case. Walmart, JD.com, Alibaba, Cargill and CBH Group are just some of the firms which are using blockchain to track food items.

Supply chain image via Shutterstock

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