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New Zealand agtech co-operative LIC invests in blockchain startup

dairy cows

New Zealand based agtech cooperative LIC has announced it will invest in blockchain startup TrackBack to add value to New Zealand’s dairy farmers. The money comes from increased investments in LIC’s AgCelerator Fund, which aids companies in bringing innovations to the dairy industry. 

TrackBack is an Auckland-based company that develops blockchain solutions that provide trust and transparency in agriculture’s supply chain. The products developed by the startup have gained significant value through the pandemic as food traceability increasingly becomes a factor in purchase decisions for consumers. 

Consumer demand for food traceability is currently a factor in LIC’s growth strategy. Using the LIC data on animal health and implementing it on TrackBack’s blockchain platform will assure product quality. Furthermore, using blockchain to monitor the supply chain of dairy products will add value to the final product and create trust among farmers and consumers. 

The dairy sector is one of the most significant industries in New Zealand’s economy. It currently contributes over 18 billion New Zealand dollars ($12.3 billion) of exports in 2018/19 and is by far the most exported sector in the country. To put that figure in context, all of New Zealand’s exports for 2019 amounted to NZ$86 billion ($58.7 billion). In 2019, the country was the top exporter of milk and cheese worldwide. 

Kiwi’s are also big consumers of dairy, averaging 105.26kgs per capita in 2018, one of the world’s highest averages. LIC’s investment in food traceability initiatives such as TrackBack’s platform will facilitate the industry’s continuous growth and the co-operative’s ambition of “continuing to lead the global pastoral dairy system by leveraging LIC’s core business and capabilities”.

Meanwhile, TrackBack hopes LIC’s support will bring visibility to the startup and enable the business to expand its platform and develop more solutions. 

Through the pandemic, various agtech firms invested and launched food traceability services and products. Recently, Australian-based Aglive added a consumer mobile app to its blockchain food traceability platform. Australia’s largest mango producer Manbulloo is trialing the addition of food traceability blockchain platform’s management mechanism. Mastercard announced a partnership with agricultural blockchain GrainChain for a blockchain food traceability platform. 

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