Posted 7 months ago | by Ben Armstrong
Australia may use Blockchain to Address Fraud in The Food Industry
In a recent discussion among experts in a supply chain forum, blockchain technology was highlighted as a tool to solve Australia’s $1.7 billion fraudulent trade of consumable goods by providing greater transparency.
Currently, Australia is facing a prevalence of fraudulent behaviors in its food supply. As a nation that is recognized globally for its quality, many underhanded methods were used to cut costs while selling Australian branded products at a high markup.
Fraudsters would often intercept the supply chain, literally and figuratively water down the product and sell it. Al Fullerton, the principle of AgTech Capital shared some of the devious methods that bad actors could deprive Australian businesses of their sales.
These methods involve selling oil to smugglers through illegal channels, which then get modified and sold to consumers. Other methods include refilling Australian water bottles and putting them back into circulation often up to 7 times – which creates questionable hygiene in the system.
These fraudulent acts may add up to $1.7 billion in losses to legitimate Australian businesses annually.
Blockchain can Help Prevent Fraud
The CEO of Geora, Bridie Ohlsson, believes that blockchain would legitimise food and agricultural certification through digitisation rather than the traditional paper-bound methods.
Blockchain provides immutability to any data it keeps track of, it means fraudsters could not forge it, alter it, or copy it in any way, preserving its value and legitimacy – at least to a higher degree than is currently the case.
Furthermore – blockchain could also provide efficient supply chain management through deep analysis of product traceability which could dramatically reduce the cost for producers and also engender social responsibility.
Australia is Ready!
A project with a similar object has already existed in Australia, a blockchain-based trademark authenticator has already been put into trial by the Australian National Rugby League (NRL) and IP Australia.
The system issues “trust badge” to online sellers to indicate that they are providing legitimate merchandise licensed by the NRL, preventing the distribution of counterfeit goods.
The blockchain could potentially be used for lux products where authenticity is key. It could also be developed and scaled up to be used for the entire Australian food industry where sellers and producers could possess a “trust badge” to distribute their products.
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