Egg consumption is increasing day by day because it is inexpensive, easy to process and is rich source of protein. Consequently, growth in the poultry farming can also be observed because of this increased demand for eggs and chicken. But still quality of eggs and chicken remain a concern for the consumers. For better quality of eggs and chicken, the better poultry production needs to be done. Additionally, outbreaks of contamination linked to eggs and poultry are a major challenge for the food industry.
Recently 207 million eggs from a North Carolina farm possibly contaminated with bacteria were recalled in April 2018. The consumers before buying eggs and chicken have few questions in their mind like: Where and how the chickens were raised? What were they fed? Antibiotics and vaccinations that the chicken received during its life? Whether it was raised free range, cage free or in a cage and even the location where the livestock was harvested? Where was the chicken processed? And most important is it fit for consumption?
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All the stakeholders involved in the poultry industry will be registered on the blockchain and they will be required to record the relevant information on the shared immutable ledger. The supply chain starts with the producers. Producer will have to provide information like location of the livestock farm, date of hatching of eggs, antibiotics given to chicken, other details like whether they were raised free range or cage free and departure date of chicken to the slaughterhouse.
The poultry should be managed properly for better production of poultry items and therefore producers have to take care towards: Maintaining proper body weight of poultry and to take care of its feed and water consumption. The stress levels in the poultry should be assessed through body temperatures that are captured through IOT devices. From a disease management outlook, it is necessary to spot diseased poultry and separate it before the entire flock is affected because the disease can spread to humans too after consuming the affected poultry products. The producers will also be required to provide certificates for the proof of managing poultry properly.
Next comes the processors who process the chicken and eggs. The information that they will be required to provide is slaughter location, packaging and labelling location, storage conditions of the processed poultry, product expiry date and dispatch date of the processed item to the next link. At this stage the product will be given a unique identification number. Since chicken is a perishable product that needs to be kept at low temperature during its transportation in order to prevent it from getting spoilt.
IOT sensors will be installed on the packets that will sense the temperature of the products and will record it on the blockchain. Retailers receive these products from distributors and sell these to the end consumers. The retailer will be required to record the received items, inventory details, storage details and sales information on the ledger. The consumer is the final link in the food supply chain who consumes this food. Therefore should have full rights to know the detailed information about the food.
Through Blockchain a consumer can know all the information about the poultry like its health, its living conditions and its processing details before buying and bring it to the home. The consumer can simply scan the unique no through his smartphone and can get all the information he always wanted to know. The information about provenance of the products will also be available on the blockchain. Even the transportation conditions of the poultry will also be available on the blockchain.
With all this information at his disposal, he can easily validate if the product he is buying is fit for consumption or not.