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Turkeys and Blockchain


Do you want to know where your Thanksgiving turkey came from? Check your phone.

Cargill’s blockchain food-traceability program for Honeysuckle White brand turkeys now spans more than 70 family farms and 200,000 birds. Shoppers with a smartphone can enter a code on the turkey’s label and get details about where it was raised as well as information about the individual bird, including what it ate, how long it was at the farm, and where it was processed.

Blockchain was developed as a transaction ledger for bitcoin, a way for groups to collaborate and share data across networks with the added feature that information is encrypted and can’t be altered without everyone else on the network knowing about it.

As each event is recorded, it becomes a “block” in a chain of digital data. The code on the turkey label lets consumers, producers, distributors, food-safety officials, trucking companies, and others in the supply chain share information. With raw ingredients and part-processed foods crisscrossing countries and continents before being sold in store, blockchain has the potential to ensure the integrity of information about the source and safety of food, Cargill says.

Want to try it out? Visit HoneysuckleWhite.com and enter test code 9990112345 to see an example of information available to consumers. Or look for a “live” code on the tag of your turkey when buy it at participating retailers.

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