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Australia’s Aglive trials blockchain for traceability of beef exports to China

beef cattle cow meat

Earlier this week, Aussie agritech firm Aglive announced it completed a blockchain traceability trial for beef shipments from Australia to China, reported Farmweekly. The trail was run in collaboration with logistics company DB Schenker and supported by Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA).

Aglive’s blockchain platform enables beef traceability from farm to table by leveraging the Internet of Things (IoT) devices and AI. The trial involved using IoT to track cattle from a Macka’s farm in New South Wales (NSW) to a local slaughterhouse, then to Brisbane from where it was shipped to China. The trial was launched in January 2020. 

“In light of coronavirus, strengthening the connection between Australian farming and food has never been more important,” said Paul Ryan, executive director at Aglive. “We are now living in a world where food fraud and related health risks are becoming a growing problem caused by lack of data and traceability, so we must work together to restore consumer trust.” 

According to data from MLA, China is among the biggest customers of Australian beef. There are also some other beef traceability projects in production currently in the region. Founded in 2013, Aglive first introduced a farm management application that integrated livestock accreditation. The solution used a digital version of the National Vendor Declaration (NVD), a food safety assurance certificate, which is an essential document in supply chain transactions. 

In 2019, Aglive announced a merger with blockchain firm TBSx3 and GPS vehicle tracking firm Austracker. The resulting solution provides beef traceability through Aglive’s own expertise in supply chain documentation, blockchain from TBSx3, and logistics tracking from Austracker. Each packaged product is tagged with a QR to enable tracking of the shipment. 

Following the successful test in the Australia-China corridor, the company aims to expand the solution in other regions such as Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Uruguay, and the European Union. 

Supply chain traceability is among the top priorities under Australia’s Nation Blockchain RoadmapBeefledger is another firm which is developing a food provenance platform, and a few months ago launched its platform in China. Last year, truck insurer NTI collaborated with Beefledger in a food provenance trial. 

Among other projects, Citrus Australia is piloting a blockchain system for traceability of citrus fruit exports.