UK Food Standard Agency Successfully Completes Test Run For Blockchain-based Supply Chain

The Food Standard Agency, a food regulatory authority in the UK announced ON Monday that it successfully carried out a pilot run on a supply chain monitoring system that is based on blockchain technology.

The UK regulator tested the blockchain-based supply chain monitoring system by monitoring meat from the moment it was produced in a cattle slaughterhouse and keeping track of it throughout the supply chain. Both the slaughterhouse and the FSA were allowed to access the data so that they could improve transparency within the supply chain. Sian Thomas, the head of the FSA believes that blockchain technology can provide real value to some parts of the food industry.

"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,”stated Thomas.

He also believes that the technology presents a great opportunity for the government to work hand in hand with the food industry towards the development of such solutions. Meanwhile, the test program selected a specific slaughterhouse because a lot of inspection is carried out in that particular slaughterhouse and data is also well documented.

The data collected from the successful pilot program will allow developers to further push towards bringing such solutions into real-world use. The FSA also plans to launch other similar test programs that will allow farmers to access data about their farm animals and those programs will be launched this month.

Although the pilot program was the first trial involving the FSA, it is not the first time that blockchain has been tested in a system that keeps track of food supply chains. Research programs by major corporations such as CBH Group, Cargill, Alibaba, and have also been conducting experiments involving the use of blockchain to monitor food items.

The European food regulator stated that permanent implementation of blockchain technology has to be an industry-led initiative especially given that the currently existing model is only used collection and communication of inspection outcomes. Meanwhile, blockchain technology has continued to gain traction, especially in the supply chain management. Its use could unlock greater efficiency while also reducing inventory management.  This explains why major corporations are experimenting with the technology.

Major companies in the tech industry are also getting involved. For example, Microsoft recently joined forces with Ardents, a supply tracking solutions provider to create a new blockchain-powered platform for tracking products. Blockchain could, therefore, be the highly anticipated solution for smoother supply chain management technologies.