UPS today announced a collaboration with HerdX, Inc., a leading U.S.-based agri-tech solutions provider, to deliver blockchain-verified traced beef from a U.S. farm to Japan. The delivery represents a significant step forward in quality assurance and traceability in the beef industry and was celebrated at an event attended by U.S. and Japanese embassy officials in Tokyo on Friday, Nov. 8, 2019.
As consumers demand to know more about the food they consume, the market for traceability and verification tools has increased. Technology companies, government agencies and academic institutions have been working to standardize the process, but no known global standard exists to date.
UPS and HerdX collaborated to develop tracking and traceability technology that improves quality assurance for beef products being shipped internationally. UPS created a customized, integrated visibility tool that plugs into HerdX’s blockchain technology, providing live updates and data points throughout the journey.
“Blockchain verification for international air freight shipments is complex and requires a great amount of expertise in customs and freight forwarding. Getting it right has implications for many industries, such as restaurants, food & beverage, and retail,” said Romaine Seguin, President of UPS Global Freight Forwarding.
“We’re committed to upholding HerdX’s industry-leading quality assurance and traceability standards for all customers eyeing international growth moving forward.”
The shipment of beef left Kansas the week of November 4 wrapped in UPS Temperature True® packaging, a cold chain thermal management solution that features temperature-sensitive air freight containers. The packaging contained sensors that monitored and recorded the shipment’s temperature from origin to destination.
Data sourced via UPS Temperature True monitoring devices was uploaded and integrated seamlessly within HerdX’s blockchain verification platform. The beef arrived via air freight to an urban contemporary steakhouse where invited guests were provided menu items featuring scannable QR codes containing tracking information detailing the journey of the beef they were to consume. All non-domestic HerdX products moving forward will now feature similar verification.
UPS customs brokers coordinated with health, food and safety regulators in both the U.S. and Japan to obtain all required certifications that made the delivery possible. Backed by more than 80 years of experience, UPS brokerage and transportation services promoted accurate customs compliance, timely clearance of goods and reduced risk of delays or penalties.
UPS Global Customs Brokerage processes almost 25 million import clearances each year in the U.S. alone, making it one of the world’s largest customs brokers. “It’s an exciting time to be entering the Japanese market with a much-needed, innovative solution to a pervasive industry issue,” Seguin added.
“We hope our relationship with HerdX will catalyze an expansion of service offerings for our international shipping customers.”
HerdX, Inc., founded by Ron Hicks, offers an end-to-end solution called the HerdX Livestock Ecosystem. It uses tags, water and data to support livestock producers, enhance animal health and wellbeing, and deliver clean, traceable food products to retailers and consumers. “UPS Freight Forwarding and Logistics services more than 220 countries and territories worldwide. Our official international logistics partnership gives HerdX unprecedented scaling power, which in turn provides incredible expansion opportunities for the American cattle producer,” said Hicks.