$6m invested in ‘disruptive’ Aussie supply chain blockchain

A $6 million investment in AgriChain is just the latest sign that Australian companies are leading the world in supply chain tracking.

Supply chain tracking in agriculture and wine was highlighted as one of the three key opportunities in the just released National Blockchain Roadmap.

This isn’t surprising given Australia exports two thirds of its agricultural products, but faces competition from inferior products in Asian markets masquerading as ‘Australian Grown’.

PwC estimates that $2 billion of fake “Aussie” meat is sold each year in China.

There are a variety of projects up and running in Australia, tracking meat and vegetables via BeefLedger, VeChain and Mastercard’s permissioned blockchain.

Highlighting the potential future growth, Sydney based Cornerstone Growth Capital has just invested $6 million in AgriChain, the largest supply chain software company in Australia.

AgriChain collects and timestamps data along the entire delivery process, ensure all relevant parties are notified in real time to improve productivity and management through increased transparency and the elimination of paperwork.

The company has modules for farmers, logistic companies, grain traders and brokers, storage operators, processors like flour mills and end users like feedlots.

‘Exciting, disruptive’

Cornerstone Growth Capital Managing partner Christian Oey called AgriChain one of the most exciting prospects he had seen in the agricultural space for some time.

“We’re always on the lookout for disrupters in the agri sector,” Oey told Global AgInvesting. “Sadly, agriculture has always been an underdog and we forget the pivotal role it plays in our lives. If we can find ways to make this sector work more efficiently with better transparency, the better off we will be.”

“And for us, AgriChain ticks all these boxes. Its unique platform is one of the first we’ve seen in the world where it increases efficiency and transparency throughout the agricultural supply chain, connecting all stakeholders on one platform, and solving the problem of what is to date a fragmented supply chain.”

AgriChain does have it’s own token called AGRI, but it is currently at a fraction of a cent with a few hundred dollars worth of volume.

BeefLedger and VeChain

Supply chain tracking, recording credentials in the education sector and Know Your Customer identity verification checks were not only identified in the Blockchain Roadmap, they’re also the three key areas Blockchain Australia intends to research via its proposed $60m Cooperative Research Centre.

BeefLedger, which tracks shipments of meat to China, joined a similar CRC back in December when it became a founding industry partner in the Future Food Systems CRC at Queensland University of Technology, which has $35 million in funding from the Government.

West Australian beef producer Latitude 28 began a pilot project tracking meat to Shanghai on the VeChain network in the middle of last year.

It’s working with Meat and Livestock Australia to expand its system and launched a $2 million funding round in January.

“Chinese consumers will use a verified provenance chain if we show it to them,” director James Williamson told FinFeed recently.

“We conducted a survey of the Shanghai restaurant diners in our pilot project, and it showed that 51.4% of participants would pay additional value for blockchain verification in the future. 100% of customers surveyed indicated they would choose blockchain-verified product over non-verified, if the product price was comparable,” he said.

Penfolds Wine has also tracked some wines on VeChain to China while Brisbane’s Fresh Supply Company is using QR codes on avocados, brocolli, mangoes and other produce to track them via blockchain.

It uses VeChain as its public ledger option and MasterCard Provenance as its permissioned option.

“We are changing the way consumers are engaging with food by using digital and blockchain technologies to add value and build trust,” said FSC’s co-founder, David Inderias

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