On Monday (November 11), package delivery company United Parcel Service of America (aka "UPS") announced the first "blockchain-verified" shipment of beef from the U.S. to Japan.
The Atlanta-headquartered UPS, which is probably the largest package delivery company in the world with service in 220 countries and territories worldwide, announced that, via a collaboration with agricultural technology company HerdX, it had managed to deliver some blockchain-tracked beef from a U.S. farm to Japan.
UPS says that this delivery "represents a significant step forward in quality assurance and traceability in the beef industry," and that the reason that the market for tools for traceability and verification has gotten bigger is that consumers "demand to know more about the food they consume."
Apparently, the purpose of this collaboration is "to develop tracking and traceability technology that improves quality assurance for beef products being shipped internationally." A "customized, integrated visibility tool" was created by UPS and made compatible with HerdX's blockchain technology in order to be able to get "live updates and data points throughout the journey."
According to a report by Coindesk, the beef in question was "black angus steak packaged by the Japanese-owned Creekstone Farms." It left Arkansas City, Kansas on November 4, and was delivered to Ruby Jack’s Steakhouse & Bar in Tokyo.
American and Japanese embassy officials celebrated the event by having dinner on November 8 at this restaurant, where the guests were "provided menu items featuring scannable QR codes containing tracking information detailing the journey of the beef they were to consume."
The beef was "wrapped in UPS Temperature True® packaging" for its trip from the U.S. to Japan. Sensors kept track of the steak and regularly sent updates to the HerdX blockchain.
Romaine Seguin, President of UPS Global Freight Forwarding, had this to say:
Blockchain verification for international air freight shipments is complex and requires a great amount of expertise in customs and freight forwarding... We’re committed to upholding HerdX’s industry-leading quality assurance and traceability standards for all customers eyeing international growth moving forward.
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