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Taking The Mystery Out Of Meat

A group of livestock farmers in Arkansas is using technology in the financial industry to help consumers trace their dinner from pasture-to-plate.

The Grass Roots Farmer’s Cooperative is the first in the United States to embrace blockchain technology for public verification of information in the food chain. In a nutshell, blockchain lets the user create a spreadsheet of transactions that can't ever be altered or tampered with.

Cody Hopkins is a farmer, and the founder and general manager of Grass Roots.  He says the technology is helping them boost food quality and customer service. It puts the history of a cut of meat directly in consumers’ hands whether they buy it online, from retailers, or in a restaurant.

"Take a chicken for example. Which farm it’s raised on, where it’s processed, where it gets stored, where it gets shipped to, and then who that end seller is, is a way to use this technology in a very transparent and public way that is also very secure and immutable," he says.

The customer uses their cell phone to get information on the Grass Roots products they purchase.

"Each package will have a QR code on it," says Hopkins. "The customer can scan that QR code and on their phone pops the journey of that product. It shows from farm, to processor, to where it’s aggregated and then Grass Roots shipping it."

The digital history also includes information on how the animals were raised, and stories of the people in the meat production process – from the farmer to the butcher.

Learn more about how this small cooperative is paving the way for transparency in the food industry.

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