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New level of food transparency arrives with traceable turkeys

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For the first time beginning this Thanksgiving, consumers will be able to trace Honeysuckle White brand turkeys from a family farm to their table.

Consumers in select markets can simply text or enter an on-package code at HoneysuckleWhite.com to access the farm’s location by state and county, view the family farm story, see photos from the farm and read a message from the farmer.

Honeysuckle White is a Cargill brand that offers family farm-raised turkey products, including ground turkey, turkey sausage, whole turkey and turkey breasts.

“The Honeysuckle White brand is committed to food transparency (while providing) family farm-raised turkey,” said Deborah Socha, Honeysuckle White brand manager. “We know consumers are looking beyond farm-to-table marketing promises to better understand where their food comes from and how it is produced.”

For years, the Honeysuckle White brand has surveyed consumers to understand the significance transparency plays in their food choices. From this, the company has gained the following insights:

* In 2014, 44% of turkey consumers surveyed believed that it is important for companies to be transparent in their practices.

* Studies in 2016 revealed that 73% of consumers feel positively about companies that are transparent about where and how their products are made, grown or raised, and more than half of consumers consider farmers one of the most trusted sources on food-related issues.

* This year, the Honeysuckle White brand’s consumer focus groups confirmed that consumers feel good about buying turkeys raised by family farmers.

These insights led to the development and pilot of the first-to-market blockchain-based solution for turkey.

“I’m honored that the Honeysuckle White brand asked me to be one of the first farmers to make it possible for families to trace their turkey back to my family’s farm,” said Darrell Glaser, a family farmer from Milam County, Texas. “Everyone deserves to know more about the food they’re eating, and I like feeling more connected to the people I’m raising these turkeys for.”

Blockchain transparency

The pilot for traceable turkeys uses a first-to-market blockchain-based solution enabled by Cargill. Blockchain models build a trusted, transparent food chain that integrate key stakeholders into the supply chain and create a distributed ledger with immutable records.

Because all participants inside the blockchain network must agree before a new record is added to a ledger, the technology also reduces the risk of fraud or human error, and cryptography within the network ensures security, authentication and integrity of transactions.

“At Cargill, we are becoming a better partner through digitalization and analytics, identifying opportunities to use technology to deliver real value for customers, partners and consumers,” said Deb Bauler, Cargill chief information officer for North American protein. “The transparency pilot with Honeysuckle White brand turkeys is one example of how we are using technology to shape the food system of the future and deliver on consumers’ desire for transparency in food.”

Cargill will use the pilot as an opportunity to learn more about the value of traceability in its turkey supply chain.

Turkeys that are part of the transparency pilot will be available primarily in retailers in the Texas market for the pilot year. For more information about Honeysuckle White turkeys, visit www.HoneysuckleWhite.com.

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