Blockchain beef watch launched
QUT is using blockchain technology to fight food fraud.
The university has launched a new research project designed to track beef from the paddock to the plate.
The BeefLedger project is one of the first to be supported by the QUT-based $200 million Food Agility CRC.
Warwick Powell, CEO of BeefLedger Limited, has launched its BeefLedger Token (BLT) Pre-Sale – a new digital cryptocurrency for people to contribute to, and participate in, the project.
“The BeefLedger Token, or BLT, is being developed as part of the design and implementation of the world’s first application of distributed ledger or blockchain technology to the entire beef supply chain,” said Marcus Foth, Professor of Urban Informatics at the QUT Design Lab.
“It has the potential to revolutionise the industry by limiting price fluctuations, supporting food provenance and preventing food fraud, which is a growing problem in international export markets.
“If you are a consumer of Australian beef in China, Japan or elsewhere, then you are expecting a premium experience and not inferior meat being passed off as Australian, which has been the subject of recent food scandals.
“The BLT will power the BeefLedger Blockchain and provide users with the value-added benefits of access to credentialed provenance data, sale history, consumer feedback insights, disease prevention, streamlining payments, and heightened food security.
“So whether you are a farmer, a supermarket, a butcher, a restaurateur, a consumer or another interested party, you will be able to access the entire history of the meat electronically by scanning a barcode or QR Code.”
Mr Powell believes it will help Australian beef producers maintain their image as safe, clean and green suppliers.
“Beef is an increasingly high-risk industry in terms of brand so it’s critical to be able to prove it is top-quality Australian beef and not a product from a country that has had an outbreak of foot and mouth disease,” he said.
“Our research in China demonstrates consumers will pay premiums for high levels of security and the value that food provenance can add to the consumer experience.
“Chinese consumers also increasingly shop with their smart phone, where scanning QR codes for product information and payments is now commonplace. The paddock-to-plate nature of BeefLedger meets this market expectation so that Australian beef remains at the forefront of Chinese consumer experiences.”