UK-based blockchain technology company Provenance has debuted technology in conjunction with Grass Roots Farmers Cooperative in Arkansas that will allow customers to use the blockchain to track their meat products from farm to fork. The project is supported by Heifer USA, and the products will be sold through the Golden Gate Meat Company.
The Grass Roots Farmers Cooperative is a small group of farmers who came together with an aim to introduce complete transparency to the meat market. The cooperative believes in providing easy access to information pertaining to the origins and farming practices that create a cut of meat.
Alluding to increased consumer interest as another reason for the cooperatives’ beliefs, Grass Roots General Manager and founding member Cody Hopkins said: “Americans have an increasing interest in better understanding what they’re eating. According to the 2016 Label Insight Study, 83 percent of consumers want more information about what’s in their food, and I totally believe it.”
Blockchain technology firm Provenance is providing the technology that will enable customers to have easy access to information relevant to meat products. The platform uses the blockchain to store data pertaining to the origins, histories, and farming practices that were applied during the life of an animal. Customers are then able to access this information by scanning a QR code on the products’ packaging.
In addition to farming practices, consumers will also be able to view the humans, farmer to butcher, who interacted with the product.
Expressing the cooperatives’ enthusiasm for the platform, Hopkins stated:
“When I learned about this technology, I thought ‘this is the solution.’ It’s the perfect way for Grass Roots to offer folks total transparency. Provenance has developed a platform that levels the playing field for small-scale farmers and puts information directly in consumers’ hands.”
The project is supported by Heifer USA, which is an organization that works with small-scale farmers to encourage sustainable farming practices that foster economic and social growth. The organization also exposes farmers to new technology that will help better their produce. Pierre Ferrari, the chairman of the board of Heifer USA, revealed how the collaboration with Provenance came to be. “Our farmers are innovative, always looking for ways to incorporate the latest technology that ultimately creates real value to the consumer,” he explained.
The products created by the Grass Roots Cooperative will be available for sale through the Golden Gate Meat Company. The meat vendors have been operating in the San Francisco Bay area since 1977 and specialize in natural and organic meats. The products will also be available online.
With regard to the commitment shown by the Grass Roots Farmers Cooperative to provide absolute transparency, Ferrari explained:
“Partnering with Provenance and the Golden Gate Meat Company is another example of how proactive they are about wanting their customers to know where their food originates. It’s only a matter of time before this becomes ‘best practice’ throughout the industry.”