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Horticulture smart supply chain research

An industry-led horticulture initiative in northern Australia is aiming to get more high value produce into domestic and international markets.

Farmers in northern Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory are a long way from their customers and supply chains, which presents a big challenge to the quality and assurance and market value of their produce.

That problem is the focus of a collaboration between Manbulloo - Australia’s largest producer of the Kensington Pride mango variety, South Australian agtech provider T-Provenance, horticulture representative Growcom and the the Co-operative Research Centre for Northern Australia.

They are developing a smart supply chain solution to track deliveries and improve quality assurance and have secured $830,000 in funding to develop the technology.

Smart chips will be placed with produce in transit to measure and store temperature data through the cold supply chain, and issue and alert if the optimum range is exceeded.

An Internet of Things may be used to deliver the data into a blockchain. IoT uses radio frequency and can carry small amounts of data over greater distances than mobile networks.

Blockchain which is a synchronised online ledger that can be made visible to parties along the supply chain. It uses encryption technology to create a secure communication tool that can be updated at any point in the chain to record financial transactions, quality control, customs checks and so on.

Blockchain can prevent financial fraud as well as verify the provenance of produce, by securly recording a cargoes details at the point of departure and guaranteeing its movement through the supply chain - removing the possibility of fake goods.

That’s why northern horticulture is so excited by its new smart supply chain potential, for domestic and export markets.

The new system could prevent spoilage, reduce waste and help producers earn top dollar by demonstrating the provenance of premium crops.

They system will be trialled initially on Manbulloo’s mangoes, which are supplied from Queensland’s Burdekin and the Northern Territory’s Katherine regions into southern markets.

T-Provenance chief technology officer Jackson Virgo said growers would be able to get their produced pre-approved the basis of tamper-proof blockchain measurements.


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