By James Lawrence - News - 3 weeks ago

Giving Thanks to Turkeys on a Blockchain

For all of our American readers, Thanksgiving is coming up in the next couple of days, and whether you celebrate the contentious holiday or not, who doesn’t like turkey?! Well perhaps our vegan and vegetarian friends out there, but we push on! For all those blockchain adoptions that seem haphazard at best, this one deserves a special mention, especially at this time of year, Cargill And Getting More Turkeys On The Blockchain.

If one Googles “Cargill” the company responsible for the turkeys is the first to come up, although the company has diversified interests, from agricultural services all the way to pharmaceuticals, and financial risk management. According to Wikipedia, Cargill is the largest privately held corporation in the United States in terms of revenue and if it were a public company, it would rank, as of 2015, number 15 on the Fortune 500 list.

The company, founded in 1865, is so big that, there is a one-in-four chance y’all Americans will be devouring a Cargill turkey later this week. So the next logical step for a hugely successful and embedded company? Put those turkeys on the blockchain!

Introduced for Thanksgiving last year, Cargill birds came equipped with a tracking code powered by blockchain technology. Upon scanning the barcode the consumer learns a whole heap about the bird that is about to stuff their belly.

In reality, the move by Cargill is a response to consumers increasingly want to know the history of their food, whether it ticks the boxes of organic, or ethical, or local, et cetera. The market has been keen to respond to these demands, especially when it has a flashy ‘blockchain’ attached that turkey gobblers have heard their grandkids talking about.

According to Cargill, scanning a barcode will result in a plethora of information about the farm where the poultry was raised, details about the farmer who raised and even pictures of the bird while it still had feathers and wasn’t 350 degrees Celsius. Some even include pictures of your pheasants’ family… well, that one’s a lie but all the rest are insanely true.

As astutely observed by Debra Bauler, Cargill Protein’s Chief Information Officer, “Blockchain is one of those technologies that will disrupt in a lot of ways. There are things that are compelling about it in food: it’s secure, distributed and irrefutable; there’s a lot in it that made sense to play within the food space.”

With success, Cargill is planning to expand the program, this year there will already be around 200,000 Cargill’s Honeysuckle White brand turkeys hosted by blockchain technology. Kassie Long, brand manager for Honeysuckle White suggests people don’t tend to want in-depth knowledge on the life and death of the birds but want to be sure it was “raised well”. “Consumers want to know that the people who are raising it are good people,” Long said.

Let’s hope the turkeys are as delicious as the irony.