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Australia Post has announced partnerships with Alibaba, the world’s largest e-commerce company and Blackmores, a prominent Australian natural health company to explore blockchain technology to curb the rise of counterfeit food sold in China.
The joint endeavor will look to develop a blockchain platform to improve the traceability of food products, with Australia Post being a major exporter of food to China. In recent years, counterfeiters have notably targeted popular Australian export such as beer and wine, honey and cherries, nuts and health supplements, according to an announcement.
Australia Post or AusPost is a wholly government-owned entity based out of Melbourne that is responsible for postal services within Australia and foreign territories.
The blockchain initiative will ‘help guarantee’ genuine food products to arrive in China, according to Bob Black, executive general manager for parcels at AusPost.
The initiative will leverage our secure, reliable and fast service to support the authentication of Australian products bound for the Chinese market.
Counterfeiters have proven tricky to combat due to the logistics of fighting fraud in foreign territories, with food fraud underlined among the biggest issues facing the global food industry. The very real plausibility of health risks due to adulteration and tampered food material has led to a loss of trust from consumers and governments, with implications on trade.
As a result, the project will look to develop a blockchain ledger that records an entire supply chain transaction.
“We are delighted Alibaba has invited us to create an innovative platform, which will track food from paddock to plate, strengthening the supply chain,” Black stated.
With an immutable, tamper-proof, time-stamped ledger, participants will be able to ascertain the entirety of the food production and supply process. Suppliers can ascertain the when, how and where their food was grown before tracking its journey through the technology. Up-to-date audits and increased transparency between producers and consumers are also underlined as benefits by AusPost.
In September 2016, Barclays and Wave, an Israeli Fintech startup laid claims to the world’s first global trade supply chain transaction powered by blockchain technology. Butter and cheese worth nearly $100,000 was exported from an Irish agricultural co-operative and a trading company in Seychelles.
Featured image from Shutterstock.