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Your provenance of Thanksgiving Turkey could be on a blockchain (seriously)

Honeysuckle White is offering relatives and friends the chance to talk about turkey with a traceable blockchain code on more than 200,000 turkeys sold through 3,500 retailers around the United States. The traceable turkeys, a limited supply of which is also available through the Amazon internet retailer, offers consumers a high-tech connection with the farm where the highlight of the meal began its journey to the table.

The blockchain, which Honeysuckle White has developed using Hyperledger's Sawtooth platform, intends to establish a "proven and trusted environment for building a transparent food chain, integrating farmers and producers, suppliers, processors, distributors, retailers, regulators and consumers", according to a release of the company.

With over 70 independent farms participating in Honeysuckle's detectable turkey program, Cargill, owner of the Minnesota Honeysuckle agricultural giant, hopes to establish a stronger link with consumers. While incorporating a blockchain element into the supply and distribution chain means the development of a data-rich environment, Cargill's current emphasis on using technology is focused on storytelling.

Putting turkeys on the blockchain marks a deeper dive into data development for companies that use technology. "Most people do not know what we mean," said Deb Bauler, CIO of Cargill's Protein and Salt division. Bitcoin Magazine. Rather than focusing solely on data, the use of the blockchain also opens up an opportunity around the narrative of a brand.

Through text or by entering the on-package code on the Honeysuckle White website, consumers track their turkey into their family farm, including the state and county of the farms, and can also view the history and see photos of the family farm. The code also includes messages from farmers.

Along the way, the Honeysuckle blockchain could include an element of the Internet of Things. This could include things like the temperature of the truck that carries the turkeys to the stores.

"It's a unique declaration of value," said Bauler.

Honeysuckle, based in Wichita, Kansas, began implementing his turkey program traceable last year with a pilot that included only four farms and 60,000 birds available for the holiday season. With the successful pilot, the expansion of the Honeysuckle program responds to consumer demand for the transparency of food sources. Kassie Long, head of the Honeysuckle White brand, says that product promotion by the company includes social media and other forms of advertising.

The Thanksgiving turkey purchase generally begins on the first weekend of November. As the season progresses and Honeysuckle gains retailer and consumer feedback, the company acquires the ability to perform a "solid analysis" of the program on a larger scale, says Long. This includes things like taking note of the development and strengthening of brand loyalty through regular customers.

However, transparency in food selection is an aspect of consumer demand familiar to Honeysuckle. According to a survey of the company, a poll of November 2017 reported that 88% of consumers "agree that brands must be transparent in their food production". According to the same survey, 80% of consumers agree that Thanksgiving is important for their turkey to be raised by a family farmer. "

For consumers, the purchase of food with traces of blockchain seems to provide a sort of psychological security about food safety issues. For Honeysuckle and other traceable food suppliers, safety triggers a stronger bottom line through increased sales. According to a 2015 study conducted with South Korean consumers, traceable information translates into more sales and greater confidence in brands and products.

The Food safety magazine The story cites the co-author of the study, Rajiv Kishore, emphasizing that when "the client believes that regulatory authorities are ensuring accurate production information, they are more likely to buy traced food using traceability information, and even less likely to actually use the information on the traceability of food. "

The crux of the observation goes to the consumer search conducted by the Honeysuckle team. That is, the growing awareness of consumers about food safety weighs favorably in their purchase decision. However, customers also added the caveat that they were not necessarily inclined to act on the tracking blockchain, Long said.

Darrell Fraser, one of the original pilot participants of the Honeysuckle White trackable turkey program, says that the care needed to produce more than five flocks of turkeys each year remains the same. For him, the addition of the blockchain element to his returns has largely translated into pursuing a sort of vanity for shopping. The Texan farmer, who has raised flocks of turkeys for almost 25 years, says he still has to find a turkey in the grocery store with roots on his farm.

"I looked and looked and I still did not find one," he says.

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