Tech Bureau Offers Meaty Solution With Blockchain

Blockchain, News, Regulation | October 6, 2017 By:

A blockchain for wild game meat is being instituted by Tech Bureau, a FinTech and cryptocurrency solutions company, in conjunction with Japan’s Gibier Promotion Association, a division of the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. The goal is to build a safe supply chain and distribution channel to ensure food quality in wild game meat. The agency will use an NEM protocol called the mijin blockchain to build and store transaction record from the hunting ground to the restaurant.

Once meat data from the processing factory is recorded on the blockchain, it cannot be tampered with.  It will be used as a benchmark to match data in the traditional supply chain. In case the entries don’t match, the new system automatically sends out alerts. This creates a transparent and traceable supply chain to monitor game meat, guaranteeing the quality control of the perishable end-product. Deployment will start in October, with plans to roll out the system nationwide.

Block Tribune talked with Takao Asayama, CEO of Tech Bureau Corp, about the project.

BLOCK TRIBUNE: What is the incentive for the processing factory to give accurate data?

TAKAO ASAYAMA:  The ‘Japan Gibier Promotion Association,’ a game meat promotion division of the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, takes its data samples from suppliers to check for accuracy. The processing factory records on the blockchain in a visible and verifiable way. In order not to lose business, they have keen interest in proper recording. They must also comply with Japanese distribution standards for wild game meat. If the data on the regular database (traceability system) does not match the original data on the mijin blockchain, the system sends out an alert.

BLOCK TRIBUNE:   Was there a previous problem with game meat for commercial sale?

TAKAO ASAYAMA: Game meat needs special care to deal with because there are some risks that any meat may contain disease‐causing bacteria. Wild game meat has to be handled properly. Before having an organized supply chain, the quality of the meat varied and made the consumer wary. The government and rural population, many of whom are working in agriculture, forestry and fisheries, seeks to solve the problem of overpopulation of wild boar and deer, often wreaking havoc on the environmental and agricultural assets. Even with proper social and regulatory standards and the right system beyond pure IT, local rural governments were not equipped to tackle this challenge on a national level. To complete the supply chain, the Gibier Association also provides a safety guide to restaurants on how to prepare game meat.

BLOCK TRIBUNE:  How big a market is it?

TAKAO ASAYAMA:   There is no state data on this market today. This is a complete restructure and still an emerging market. The state has numbers on damage wildlife caused to agriculture, but none about how many of the culprits ended up in a dish. This government report might help to understand the background.

BLOCK TRIBUNE:  Will ensuring its provenance expand the market?

TAKAO ASAYAMA: The scope of traceability will ensure the quality of meat. Yes, knowledge of provenance, treatment, and timeline will definitely increase consumer confidence to take to game meat. Game meat is nutritious and delicious. Our forebears ate meat like this for centuries! Consumers are well aware of the downsides of industrial scale farming. Game meat is a great alternative for the discerning gourmet. Further activity is also encouraging restaurants and food processing companies to use game meat. From guides to a cooking contest, game meat is becoming all the rage.

BLOCK TRIBUNE:  What qualifies as “game meat?”  Is it strictly animals in Japan? Or will you import as well?

TAKAO ASAYAMA:  Unlike the English translation of Gibier only referring to deer meat, in Japan, Gibier denominates all kinds of wild animals meat : wild boar, bear, deer, rabbit, pheasant, etc., with wild boar and deer being the most popular. In the past, some meat was imported from France to Japan. But the current scope of activity of the Gibier Association is promoting economical use of game meat in Japan. It’s a very beginning stage, and exports will most likely follow once the market is established and the system rolls out nationwide.