On­line grain-track­ing boost

Countryman - - NEWS - Cally Dupe

Founders of an agri­cul­ture start-up claim their busi­ness is the first ma­jor Aus­tralian blockchain project to receive a slice of a $90 mil­lion global in­vest­ment fund.

Block­Grain is an on­line plat­form al­low­ing farm­ers, bro­kers and lo­gis­tics com­pa­nies to track their grain through the supply chain.

It has more than 1000 users across Aus­tralia and was created by by fifth-gen­er­a­tion Queens­land farmer Caile Dit­terich in 2014.

Block­Grain will in­ves­ti­gate in blockchain tech­nol­ogy into its op­er­a­tions by the end of the year, af­ter last week rais­ing the then-equiv­a­lent of $1 mil­lion in cryp­tocur­rency XEM through the not-for-profit NEM blockchain in­vest­ment fund.

Block­Grain co-founder and chief ex­ec­u­tive Mr Dit­terich said the start- up was look­ing at NEM tech­nol­ogy to pro­vide greater vis­i­bil­ity within the agri­cul­ture supply chain.

A blockchain al­lows the trans­ac­tions to oc­cur on­line with­out a cen­tral author­ity.

Rabobank agri­cul­tural an­a­lyst Wes Le­froy, orig­i­nally from WA, said Aus­tralian busi­nesses were start­ing to “test the ap­pli­ca­tions of blockchain tech­nol­ogy lo­cally”.

“A pi­lot be­tween CBH and Agridig­i­tal in Au­gust 2017, and a sep­a­rate proof of con­cept trans­ac­tion by Rabobank in part­ner­ship with Agridig­i­tal, are ex­am­ples of busi­nesses start­ing to test the ap­pli­ca­tions of blockchain tech­nol­ogy lo­cally,” he said.

“Ad­di­tion­ally, in­ter­na­tion­ally we are start­ing to see more and more pi­lots and col­lab­o­ra­tions.

“One of the ma­jor op­por­tu­ni­ties in us­ing blockchain as a tool, is that we can re­ally pro­mote the safe and eth­i­cal pro­duc­tion of Aus­tralian pro­duce, par­tic­u­larly into over­seas mar­kets.”

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