Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is trialling a blockchain platform for supply chain tracking in bid to prevent food fraud.

The new pilot program will use the blockchain-based Food Trust Framework to track international shipments to China from Australian healthcare supply firm Blackmores and New Zealand dairy product maker Fonterra via Alibaba’s T-Mall e-commerce arm, according to a ZDNet report Friday.

The news follows the platform’s year-long technological development since Alibaba Australia first announced a partnership with PwC and Blackmores in March 2017 to develop the system to counter the spread of counterfeit products.

Touting supply chain transparency as a primary benefit of the framework, Alibaba said the pilot – if successful – could lead to wider adoption across the supply chains for its global markets.

The exploration marks Alibaba’s latest move to harness blockchain’s potential in the fight against food fraud – criminal activity that the company estimates costs the global food industry $40 billion each year, the report said.

Alibaba’s T-Mall platform has already started to adopt blockchain technology in partnership with logistics firm Cainiao in its cross-border supply chains.

As previously reported by CoinDesk, the partnership records a variety of data about goods in transport on a tamper-proof blockchain network including country of origin, shipping port and method, arrival port and customs report details.

Alibaba image via Shutterstock

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