While bitcoin is revolutionising digital currency and payments, the technology that powers it is arguably even more fundamental to the future of commerce and industry, with multiple sectors already developing blockchain solutions to dramatically improve productivity.
Now it’s the turn of US dairy farmers, following the announcement of a blockchain trial that could be used for tracking milk through the supply chain.
Bitcoin is powered by a decentralised ledger, and the same technology is now being used by the Dairy Farmers of America cooperative, across its 14,500 members.
Using a platform developed by blockchain startup Ripe.io, the DFA is aiming to “increase supply chain transparency” through more effective tracking from origin to market.
David Darr, vice president of sustainability at the DFA, said the technology would ultimately benefit consumers by providing real-time data to make supply chains more transparent.
“Consumers today want to know where their food comes from and blockchain technology, like ripe.io, gives consumers real-time data, which can really help increase trust and confidence about food production from start to finish.”
“We know that there’s a lot of application for blockchain technology within agriculture, and we ultimately want to help our dairy farmers be on the forefront … For now, our goal is to evaluate the technology and explore how it might benefit our supply chain.”
The announcement follows similar measures introduced by Walmart this week, which will now require the producers of vegetables to record provenance on a blockchain system, deploying many of the same benefits in Walmart’s supply chain.
Walmart’s decision was prompted by an E.coli scare, and will provide the grocery giant with better technology for tracking and recording the provenance of the produce they sell.
The food and agricultural industries are already benefiting from blockchain technology, and are expected to do so increasingly in the years to come, as more solutions of the kind proposed by Walmart and the DFA are introduced.
Powered by the same technology behind cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, these systems are expected to play an ever more important role in the food industries in future.