UPS demonstrated blockchain-verified tracking of a shipment of Black Angus beef from Kansas to the table of a Japanese steakhouse last week.
The shipping company said consumers want to know more about the food they consume, but there is no known global standard for tracing and verification.
UPS is partnering with agricultural technology company HerdX Inc. for blockchain-traced international beef shipments.
A blockchain is a network for transactions entered into digital “ledger,” which cannot be altered without approval of those in the network.
At a dinner at Ruby Jack’s steakhouse in Tokyo on Nov. 8, diners were given menus with QR codes they could scan for tracking information on the journey of the beef being served, according to UPS.
The Creekstone Farms beef was transported in temperature-monitored air freight containers from Kansas to the steakhouse, for the event attended by officials from U.S. and Japanese embassies.
UPS said all future international shipments of HerdX products will have similar verification with live updates and data points throughout the journey, which it called “a step forward in quality assurance and traceability in the beef industry.”