The global demand for beef is increasing year by year and it’s something that producers in Ireland are struggling to keep pace with. This is due in no small part due to the many challenges that the Irish beef industry are currently facing, like Brexit and agricultural policy reforms. However, it seems like hope could exist for its future in an unlikely source.
In a newly released report, Deloitte has claimed that Blockchain technology could be the remedy to the toiling Irish beef producing farmers. The report, Beefing up The Blockchain, produced by the international research body, highlights a number of ways that the beef supply could be assisted with the crypto exchange platform.
Major Beef Export
Ireland exports in the region of €12 Billion worth of food and drink each year, accounting for around 20% of their total goods exported. Despite the uncertainty surround Britain’s looming exit from the EU, the UK remains the number one importer of Irish beef. In fact, Ireland’s beef rose by around 5% last year.
However, it needs to increase further if it is to meet world demand – something that could be helped by the use of Blockchain, as it offers something of a competitive advantage to those who are forward thinking enough to adopt it.
Grass Fed USP
One of the best selling points of Irish Beef is the fact that the overwhelming majority of Irish cattle are grass fed. However, this information is not currently communicated very well, which could be significantly improved using Blockchain. Detailed dietary info provided by the platform would serve to assure consumers of the quality of produce on offer.
End to End Traceability
Compliance data, consumer info and other useful intelligence could be posted to the Blockchain, making the traceability of any and all beef coming from Ireland that much easier. Improved transparency in the beef supply chain does wonders for consumer confidence. True visibility from farm to fork.
Businesses thrive when they interact with their customers and this is made much easier via Blockchain. It’s possible to find out all sorts of information by scanning QR codes on packaging. Informed eating is the key, with customer engagement being central to the concept. Reviews in real time and full disclosure of the beef lifecycle both serve to engender the public’s trust.
The report, which goes into great detail, also highlights a number of other benefits, including:
- Trade Finance – as blockchain provides a much less complicated trade platform than currently exists
- Customer feedback harvesting – decentralising feedback and allowing reviews to be added and access by everyone on the network
- Certification storage – the management of certification could also be radically improved. Both immutable and auditable, the information stored there would increase validity of certification
In its report, Deloitte suggests that the adoption of this technology by the beef industry in Ireland is something that should be given serious consideration, as it offers a way for it to set itself apart from the competition. It also recommends that any pilot scheme should include the formation of an industry body and a charter from best practice.
And it seems to be well received in Irish agriculture circles too, with Farmers’ Association President, Joe Healy, stating that “we can see that it gives consumers new ways to understand how we farm to the highest standards”, going on to say that “anything that helps us produce our beef more efficiently, through speeding up transactional and regulatory elements of the supply chain, is welcomed”.
With this much positivity around the proposal, it would seem a question of when and not if this is something that the Irish beef industry takes on board.