CBH Group, Australia’s largest grain exporter, is to test blockchain technology in the tracking of oat shipments, reports say.

According to The Australian Financial Review, the group – a grain growers’ cooperative – is partnering with Sydney-based startup AgriDigital for the pilot project, which aims at using a blockchain-based system to trace the grain’s origin and and document its quality.

This supply chain data, the news source noted, can be displayed to potential buyers in the hope of improving confidence in grain stores and, eventually, to boost sales for Australian grain growers who are looking to expand to more competitive markets in Asia.

“Anything allowing proof of provenance can create value to Australia,” CBH Group’s chief executive Andy Crane told the publication.

The pilot is slated to commence next week at CBH’s oats processor, Blue Lake Milling in South Australia. As a next step, the group said it is likely to expand the pilot to include its $4 billion Western Australia granary if the initial phase proves to be successful.

CBH is just the latest organisation to trial the potential of blockchain in monitoring the movement of goods, and other companies worldwide have moved to launch similar pilots in recent months.

China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba is working with New Zealand-based dairy cooperative Fonterra, vitamin and supplement supplier Blackmores, as well as postal services in Australia and New Zealand, to form a consortium aimed at reducing food supply chain fraud.

And global retail giant Walmart has also indicated initial success from its previous collaboration with IBM and Tsinghua University of Beijing in testing blockchain-based supply chain applications, focusing on tracking shipments in China’s massive pork market.

Grain harvesting image via Shutterstock

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