TECHNOLOGY | Staff Reporter, UK

Food Standards Agency trials first use of blockchain

A further pilot is planned for July.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has reportedly completed a pilot programme where they used blockchain technology in a cattle slaughterhouse. 

"Our approach has been to develop data standards with industry that will make theory reality and I'm delighted that we've been able to show that blockchain does indeed work in this part of the food industry. I think there are great opportunities now for industry and government to work together to expand and develop this approach," FSA Head of Information Management Sian Thomas said.

A blockchain is a type of database that acquires a number of records and places them in a block, which is then 'chained' to the next block using an encrypted signature. This process blockchains to be used similary to a ledger, which can be shared and checked by anyone with permission. 

The pilot programme saw both the FSA and the slaughterhouse having permission to access data, leading to improved transparency across the food supply chain.

A further pilot is scheduled for July, which will provide permission to farmers to access data about their farm animals.

The FSA said that the use of blockchain 'would need to be industry-led' if it shows success in the trialing stage.

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