Blockchain project launched to fight food fraud

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A research project has been launched to track beef from paddock to plate, thus protecting Australia’s reputation for world-class beef production.

The project was launched at QUT, part of a national collaborative group of five major Australian universities that form the Australian Technology Network of Universities.

Marcus Foth, Professor of Urban Informatics at the QUT Design Lab, said BeefLedger is an industry-led project that brings together design, business, technology, and food research and prevents food fraud to protect the Australian brand.

An overview was presented by Professor Foth at The Promise of Blockchain for Food and Agriculture at QUT’s Gardens Point campus on Monday, 4 December. He was joined by Warwick Powell of Sister City Partners and CEO of BeefLedger Ltd, which launched its BeefLedger Token Pre-Sale – a digital crypto-currency for people to contribute to, and participate in, the project.

“The BeefLedger Token, or BLT, is being developed as part of the design and implementation of the world’s first application of distributed ledger or blockchain technology to the entire beef supply chain,” Professor Foth said.

“It has the potential to revolutionise the industry by limiting price fluctuations, supporting food provenance and preventing food fraud, which is a growing problem in international export markets.

“The BLT will power the BeefLedger Blockchain and provide users with the value-added benefits of access to credentialed provenance data, sale history, consumer feedback insights, disease prevention, streamlining payments, and heightened food security.”

Powell said BeefLedger was designed to be a wholesale data platform that delivers credentialed food provenance data to consumers, driving value growth for the supply chain as a whole and delivering additional income to producers in recognition of product provenance excellence.

“Our aim is to empower producers to serve the growing middle class markets of Asia, in particular China, and meet the market’s increasing expectations around food provenance and safety,” he said.

Professor Foth said BeefLedger would return benefits to communities in regional Australia as credentialed food provenance lifts the veil between producers and consumers.

“What we hope to see is a fairer and more sustainable supply chain, which is better for everyone – including regional communities – over the long run,” he said.