Blockchain-based traceability platform for beef

Product labelling that uses blockchain technology to demonstrate the traceability of Australian beef is now on show at Beef Australia 2021.

The project, KPMG Origins – Trusted Beef Traceability, aims to deliver $115 million in additional sales by 2025, and is the result of a collaboration between Argyle Foods Group, Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) and KPMG. It is targeting “significant” export markets across South East Asia, with a focus on China.

KPMG Origins is described as a blockchain-based traceability platform. It has enabled Argyle Foods Group to have the ability to provide international beef retailers comprehensive information on the paddock to plate story of individual packs of beef.

“That information, which can be used to validate product claims and underpin the premium quality status for beef from Australia, can be easily accessed by scanning a code on the product’s label, and includes details such as information about the breeding property, the conditions under which the cattle were raised, the processing practices, certifications, Internet of Things (IoT) temperature tracking and full-life traceability journey of the beef products,” says MLA.

“International buyers of Australian beef are increasingly requesting additional information to further validate the claims being made about a product, the methods under which it has been processed and its provenance – KPMG Origins enables this to occur in an automated and seamless manner to ensure the provision of this additional digital information does not become an administrative burden.”

Addressing a key market challenge

Argyle Foods Group co-CEO Lachlan Graham says this has been a three-year journey, understanding the various Asian markets and consumers.

“Addressing one of our key market access challenges, we’ve worked closely with our retailers and MLA to develop a unique ‘snap frozen’ product and supply chain that has reduced our costs by 80%,” he says.

“This has provided Argyle increased available working capital to significantly expand our exports.”

Serving a number of purposes

MLA General Manager, Research, Development and Adoption Michael Crowley says technology such as this serves “a number of important purposes”.

“We are seeing an increasing global demand for high quality protein and a growing middle-class affluence in key export regions in Asia,” he says.

“With this comes a heightened interest in food provenance and it’s therefore more important than ever that Australia is on the front-foot to allow our beef industry to share its story and utilise new and emerging technologies to do so.

“This technology also allows us to address some of the obstacles that will support sustainable access into key international markets like China dealing with issues such as clearance documentation or shelf-life requirements.

“MLA is able to share its significant market data and insights with supply chain partners such as Argyle Foods Group to support prototyping of new and exciting products in key markets and help build a greater understanding of customers and deliver against their expectations.”

An ‘intuitive data trust platform’

KPMG Head of Blockchain Services Asia Pacific Laszlo Peter adds: “Our mission with KPMG Origins is to provide an intuitive data trust platform that will reshape industries with exceptional visibility and control of supply chains – we achieve this by utilising and integrating with existing cattle and beef data solutions such as the ISC National Livestock Identification System (NLIS), livestock management, processor, logistics and IoT data trackers.

“This data is then permissioned by the product owner as to who in their value chain should have visibility of this data relating to their products. The standardised nature of the KPMG Origins platform enables all supply chain participants the ability to communicate in a common data language throughout the value chain.”

Using KPMG Origins

KPMG Origins is available now for Australian beef companies.

The service is currently working with a number of beef customers and MLA to further enhance the value of the solution for the Australian red meat industry.

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