An Asia-Pacific Blockchain Consortium is Forming Around Food Supply Chain

PwC Australia is partnering up with Alibaba and others on a trial that will find it seeking to provided added trust to the food supply chain.

May 22, 2017 at 3:21 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 11, 2021 at 1:22 p.m. UTC

An advisor to a new consortium effort has revealed work is underway on a new supply chain trial with Chinese tech giant Alibaba.

Revealed today at CoinDesk's Consensus 2017 blockchain conference, the China-based e-commerce giant is reportedly collaborating with New Zealand dairy cooperative Fonterra, vitamin and supplement supplier Blackmores, as well as Australian Post and New Zealand Post on an effort to reduce fraud in the food supply chain.

The project was discussed in a talk by PwC's Digital Asset Services (DAS) division (first announced last November as a project called Vulcan), part of an effort to help enterprise businesses become more comfortable with advances in open, public blockchain protocols.

In interview, DAS founder Robert Allen explained that regional food safety is a focus area for PwC Australia and his team are helping advise the consortium with expertise developed within the DAS business.

Allen told CoinDesk:

"We're looking at the use of blockchain from a requirements perspective. A lot of other supply chain trials are provenance based, but we're looking at it more from a protocol perspective to achieve end-to-end safety of the project."

The work is an extension of DAS's earlier work to help enterprises launch digital assets, one that showcases how its architecture – designed in partnership with startups Bloq, Libra and Netki – can be flexible enough to satisfy multiple types of use cases.

"What we're demonstrating is that the Vulcan-type layer actually is as applicable to one set of use cases as another," he said. "We're finding we are able to apply it to remittance as much as supply chain."

Allen said the project will be run over the next 13 weeks, with consortium teams working together on the trust  framework, functional requirements and a technical proof of concept.

Bottles image via Shutterstock

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