Northern Ireland-based food-tracing tech firm to create 50 jobs

Arc-net to create jobs in Belfast and Edinburgh via business accelerator programme

A Northern Ireland entrepreneur who is developing technology to help fight food fraud is planning to create 50 jobs based in Belfast and Edinburgh.

Kieran Kelly, whose family background is in the meat business in the North, established Arc-net to develop an industrial-grade blockchain (distributed database) technology platform to protectively mark, authenticate and trace meat products from farm to fork using the animal's DNA.

Mr Kelly says his firm is now set to expand helped by its participation in a business accelerator and growth hub for entrepreneurs – Entrepreneurial Spark – which has a “hatchery” in Belfast, supported by Ulster Bank.

Arc-net employed two people when it entered the Entrepreneurial Spark last year but is now set to grow its workforce to 50 after winning new business and opening a base in San Francisco.

Independent validation

Mr Kelly says the technology gives companies and brand owners the ability to have independent validation of their food quality.

“Our consumer-first approach ensures they get much greater insight into the product they are buying in terms of its origins and its journey to the shop they are buying it in,” Mr Kelly said.

Francess McDonnell

Francess McDonnell

Francess McDonnell is a contributor to The Irish Times specialising in business