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Finally a handy blockchain application: tracing halal meat

Blockchain is often mocked as a solution in search of a problem. But buried under the crypto scam and Web3 utopianism hide some intriguing use cases.

Some of the most powerful applications are traceability. When embedded in supply chains, blockchain can track the entire life cycle of a product from origin to consumption. Because the technology creates permanent, indelible and immutable records, extensive data on items and transactions can be securely stored and verified.

In the food sector, the benefits are particularly attractive. In a pilot project blockchain and smart tagging were used by British startup Provenance to detect illegal tuna fishing, seafood fraud, and forced labour. The arrangement not only ensured ethical practices, but also exposed the potential of blockchain for corporate auditing, tackling counterfeiting and reducing administrative costs.

In Wales, blockchain experts have found another promising target for traceability: halal meat. In a European first, British startup iov42 develops a data sharing platform that provides secure records of compliance with halal standards – which are often violated by fraudulent products.

The perpetrators range from sole traders to international organized crime groups. One of the most notorious violations emerged in 2020, when a Malaysian “meat cartel” was exposed for bribing customs officials, distributing meat from uncertified slaughterhouses, and passing off kangaroo and horse meat as halal beef.

The scandal sparked protests in Malaysia – where Muslims make up about 60% of the population – and across the Islamic world. It also threatened to cause deep financial problems. Malaysia aimed to become a global hub for the $2.3 trillion halal market and already exported $9 billion worth of halal certified products.

iov42 is betting that blockchain can mitigate the risks of such violations. By tracing the products from the farmer to the table, the company wants to anchor track originpromote certification programs and increase impartiality in the halal market.

“Our technology is designed to help improve traceability in industries like this,” said David Coleman, Chief Product Officer at iov42.

To bring the project to life, iov42 works together with certification experts from Prime UK, a Cardiff-based compliance services provider. Last week, the companies announced that they have received a cash injection from the Welsh Government’s Blockchain Demonstrator Challenge Fund.

The government plan has been launched to develop the local blockchain sector. If the halal project is a success, it could be a rare example of the real-world benefits blockchain can bring to Wales.

Shreya has been with australiabusinessblog.com for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider australiabusinessblog.com, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.

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