19 Nov Blockchain program helps farmers and consumers talk turkey
As many as 46 million turkeys will be served at US Thanksgiving dinner and blockchain technology from food giant Cargill may tell you which farm 200,000 of its turkey products came from and how it got to you.
The new program will help consumers learn all about farmers who raised their Thanksgiving turkey and the trail to the holiday dinner table.
Honeysuckle White Traceability Program
This year, Cargill enrolled 70 new Missouri and Texas turkey farms into its Honeysuckle White Traceability Program.
That means as many as 200,000 birds could be tracked from the farm, through processing, delivery to the grocery store and to your kitchen using blockchain technology.
“Honeysuckle White is committed to food transparency and we are excited to bring more consumers an inside look at the family farms where their turkeys are raised,” said Kassie Long, Honeysuckle White brand manager. ” Now, more consumers can get to know the farmers that raised their turkeys and enjoy a family farm raised turkey this holiday season.”
The program started this fall and large retailers including Walmart, Kroger, Safeway, and Amazon are participating. The traceable turkeys will be sold in more than 3500 US grocery stores.
“Each Honeysuckle White turkey will have an identification code, which can be entered into a website that will guide the consumer to the specific farm that raised that exact turkey,” explained Cargill’s chief information officer for animal protein and salt, Debra Bauler.
Consumers can enter the product code 9990112345 to see what information is available for consumers to learn the story about where their turkey was produced.
Meet the turkey farmers
“Cargill is making meaningful investments in technologies like blockchain to digitalize our food and agricultural supply chains in ways that benefit the entire industry and help our customers,” said Bauler. “The expanded transparency program builds trust and increases transparency in the food supply chain and gives customers greater confidence in the food they purchase and eat.”
Once consumers enter a Honeysuckle White turkey product code on the company website, they’re introduced to some of the independent farmers who work so hard to bring turkey to American Thanksgiving family celebrations.
That includes farmers like the Albertsons in Miller County, Missouri; the Glasers in Bell County, Texas; and the Dicus family farm in Moniteau County, Missouri.
A heartwarming series of TV ads Consumers to the farm families and their stories.
Product info and recipes
The Honeysuckle White website also includes product information, where to buy turkeys, recipes, cooking tips, and how to carve your turkey for perfect presentation.
The producers and processors provide consumers with the reassurance that these turkeys are raised without antibiotics and with the highest quality product and safety standards possible.
Connecting with consumers
Consultant Jonah Stillman is an expert on Generation Z and he said companies need to connect with consumers, but not depend on technology only.
“Generation Z consumers will absolutely not be dazzled by innovative applications of technologies like blockchain; we actually expect that companies should naturally be enabling consumers to know about the supply chain behind what we eat,” Stillman told the Observer.
Cargill says if the program is successful, they may consider rolling out similar traceability programs to other products.
“Companies who engage us and empower us with information about their products’ supply chain in a transparent way will earn our loyalty and stoke our passion. Those who are late to realize this will have a lot of ground to make up when our generation becomes a major driver in the marketplace,” Stillman added.
This Thanksgiving, Cargill hopes that more than 200,000 families will be interested in tracking their turkey back to the farmers who provided the centerpiece for the Thanksgiving feast.
Visuals courtesy of Honeysuckle White