South Korea To Use Blockchain To Track Beef

Blockchain, News | November 23, 2018 By:

The South Korean government is planning to use blockchain technology to track beef through the supply chain.

Local news outlet Yonhap reported that the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and the Ministry of Science and ICT will jointly launch the pilot program in cattle farms and slaughterhouses in North Jeolla Province in December. If the pilot proved to be successful, the system will be officially launched in January 2019.

At present, the country’s cattle tracing system provides information from birth to slaughter, packaging and sales to ensure the safety of the meat. However, the paper-based reporting system takes time and money, and is exposed to risks of fake certificates. By using blockchain technology, cattle farms and slaughterhouses will be able to store related information and certificates in the distributed ledger to enhance efficiency and credibility.

“The Blockchain-based Livestock History Management System, which is constructed this time, can simultaneously improve the reliability and promptness of the current history service by storing and sharing the history information and various certificates of the beef circulation stage in the blockchain,” the ministries said in a joint release.

Smart agriculture solutions are thriving, and it is predicted that this industry could be worth up to $26.76 billion by 2020. Many industry players believe that blockchain could play a big role in clamping down on food fraud because every component in a finished product would become easier to identify.

Last month, tech giant IBM launched its blockchain-based food supply chain network, IBM Food Trust, to improve the supply chain management of food products. The platform includes global retailer Carrefour, which has more than 12,000 stores in 33 countries, Topco Associates, retailer-owned cooperative Wakefern, BeefChain, Dennick Fruit Source, Scoular and Smithfield.