Digital livestock identification and traceability system a first for SA

  • 09 Oktober 2020
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In light of this realisation, BeefLedger SA, recently developed the first-ever blockchain-enabled traceability solution for the South African beef supply chain. This digital livestock identification and traceability system can validate real-time farm to fork product authenticity.

According to Anzill Adams, Chief Executive Officer of BeefLedger SA, the platform represents a much-needed tool for greater transparency and accountability. He explains that the system will provide users in the beef industry with the value-added benefits of access to credible and authentic data, sales history, consumer feedback insights, streamlined payments, and heightened food security. The system will also contribute towards better disease prevention and more effective biosecurity management processes. It also has the potential to revolutionise the industry by supporting food provenance-driven value, preventing food fraud and creating more transparent markets for participants.

Adams furthermore believes that this technology will enable a fairer and more sustainable beef supply chain. “Credentialed food provenance creates an integrated link between various stakeholders, including government, leading industry players and smaller communal farmers.

The technology is introduced at a time when the demand for beef in Africa is expected to grow significantly. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) estimates that the consumption of beef will increase by 200% in Africa, between 2015 and 2050. This rapid growth will increase the pressure for credentialed product significantly.

Interest in blockchain is rapidly growing within the agricultural sector since it allows people to share recorded transactions in a digitised, decentralised data log that is stored on a network of computers rather than on a single database. Within the agricultural supply chain, blockchain technologies therefore promise not only increased efficiencies (through enhanced data management, lower transaction costs, optimised logistics and more robust traceability) but also enhanced food safety protocols.

Adams says that the future vision of BeefLedger SA is to develop a digital framework, in line with international standards and obligations, to implement similar technologies for other sectors including the wine, seafood and mining industries. Further integration is also planned into the halal, kosher, fair trade and organic food sectors where certified traceability is non-negotiable.