[28 January/SeafoodSource]

The distributed ledge technology, Blockchain (originally created in the development of cryptocurrency) is being used by a Japanese government backed organisation to develop food traceability projects, including a tracking tool for sea cucumber. Japan has been a leader in the adoption of cryptocurrency trading and their government continues to encourage the growth by working on regulatory guidelines to approve initial currency offerings. Two uses for blockchain in food traceability have emerged, one for tracking game meat from field to plate; and the other a combination of sea cucumber tracking tool and local tourism scrip. Japan’s strict gun control laws, leading to a decrease in hunting, has created a problem with overpopulation of wild game. The populations of wild boar and deer have boomed, resulting in boars damaging crops and deer stripping forest trees of bark. In response, the Japan Gibier [Game Meat] Promotion Association, which oversees the standards for the distribution of game meat in Japan, is creating a blockchain system to record the supply chain of Japanese wild game meat with the goal to drive demand for game meat by increasing consumer confidence in the origin and safety of meat. Blockchain creates a tamperproof record that can be viewed by anyone along the supply chain by scanning a QR code on the product. In the seaside town of Miyazu, Kyoto Prefecture, blockchain technology has also been floated for use in the seafood sector, combining traceability with a larger health and gourmet tourism concept.