New technologies key to protecting farm data, UFU beef and lamb committee told

  • Blockchain technology can play an important role in protecting farmers’ data, a local tech company has said.

    Ellen Moorehead from Banbridge blockchain firm ubloquity spoke to members of the Ulster Farmers Union beef and lamb committee this week about the potential of new technologies to prevent fraud and ensure accurate data from farms is collected and stored safely.

    As farms take part in an increasing number of carbon foot-printing, soil sampling and other regulatory surveys, as well as industry audits, there are concerns from producers around the ownership and protection of data collected. Ellen Mooreland, also a beef and sheep farmer in Co. Down, says blockchain technology could help solve this problem.

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    Speaking after the meeting, Ellen Moorehead, Agri Tech manager at ubloquity who is also completing a Masters with Queen’s University Belfast and CAFRE, exploring farmer perceptions and practices in data collection on farms said: “I’m really glad of the opportunity to speak with other farmers to share perspectives on data collection, which is now a reality for all farms as the sector works to lower carbon emissions and measure carbon sequestration.

    “With carbon surveys, welfare audits and other regulatory commitments, more data than ever is being recorded and shared by farms. This data is very important, and valuable, for government departments and supply chain partners. Producers know the value of this data, and we feel new technologies can play a role in protecting it, as well as preventing fraud.

    “Blockchain technology has the capacity to capture multiple sources of data, which is then processed and verified, generating one version of the truth. By creating trust between different parties, this technology enables supply chains to function more effectively while delivering value to each party.”

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    ubloquity started out as a food provenance platform, enabling customers to trace products back to the most relevant start point in the supply chain. The firm is currently working with the Rhug Estate in Wales to enable frictionless export of organic lamb to EU customers.

    Speaking with farmers at the event, Ellen who is conducting her thesis on perceptions and practices of data collection on farms added; “Professionally and personally, this is an area I am passionate about. I’d like to thank the Ulster Farmers Union for inviting to speak with farmers directly on steps they can take to better protect their data while also gathering insights for my own research with Queen’s University and CAFRE.”

    Source: Written from press release 

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