The first blockchain verified beef would be delivered in a HerdX shipment from US to Japan in collaboration with UPS. HerdX is a provider of agriculture-technology solutions while UPS is a global customs brokerage and this collaboration marks a major step towards ensuring quality and assuring traceability in the beef industry especially dealing with exports. This step was celebrated at an event in Tokyo in the presence of US and Japanese embassy officials on Nov. 8.
HerdX is a provider of end-to-end solutions named ‘HerdX Livestock Ecosystem’ established by Ron Hicks. It provides support to livestock producers, ensures delivery of clean food products to consumers, improves animal health and well-being by utilizing water, tags and data. UPS is one of the chief customs brokers and processes approximately 25 million import clearances annually in the US.
Romaine Seguin, president of UPS Global Freight Forwarding remarked:
Blockchain verification for international air freight shipments is complex and requires a great amount of expertise in customs and freight forwarding. Getting it right has implications for many industries, such as restaurants, food and beverage, and retail.
UPS has already been a part of the Blockchain in Transportation Alliance (BiTA) since 2017 and has made an application for US patent so that blockchain technology can be used to trace packages through various carriers on a global scale. The unique aspect of this collaboration is that UPS has designed digital tools particularly for this purpose and the UPS president feels that this partnership could serve as a model for subsequent mutual efforts to the global user’s advantage.
Ron Hicks, founder of HerdX has commented,
UPS Freight Forwarding and Logistics Services more than 220 countries and territories worldwide. Our official international logistics partnership gives HerdX unprecedented scaling power, which in turn provides incredible expansion opportunities for the American cattle producer.
Traceability and verification tools have assumed an important role in the food industry as consumers have become increasingly cautious about their food. Although the demand for these tools has been rising, no global standards have been determined till date. Government agencies, food technologists and academic institutions are collaborating their efforts in this regard.
This is precisely what UPS and HerdX are putting their efforts into developing traceability and tracking technology which ensures better quality assurance of the beef products that are exported.
UPS created a customized, integrated visibility tool that plugs into HerdX’s blockchain technology, providing live updates and data points throughout the journey.
Thus consumers and retailers are able to keep a tab of the shipment like on November 4, the shipment left Kansas City packed in ‘UPS Temperature True packaging’ with inbuilt sensors. These sensors tracked and noted the temperature of the consignment from originating point to destination. This data obtained from the sensoring devices were put on and integrated automatically with HerdX’s blockchain verification platform. The beef reached a contemporary steakhouse though air freight where guests were invited and provided with menu items that could be scanned with QR codes. On scanning, all the information tracked on the journey of the beef would be available to the consumers, and would make them sanguine of the products they consumed. HerdX international products would be enabled for such tracking and verification.
UPS has more than 80 years of experience in brokerage and transportation, and they have coordinated with health and food safety regulators in both countries to get access to all required certification. With the lesser risk of delays, proper customs compliance, on-time clearance of goods and necessary cooperation with the agencies, the delivery was made possible. Seguin has said,
It’s an exciting time to be entering the Japanese market with a much needed, innovative solution to a pervasive industry issue. We hope our relationship wit HerdX will catalyse an expansion of service offerings for our international shipping customers.
Consumers would hope this too, that this partnership provides them with the necessary knowhow of verifying and tracking the food they would eat. This way timely and efficient delivery along with authentication of food quality is ensured.