MINISTER for agriculture David Littleproud has announced the first phase of a Blockchain and Traceability Framework for Australian dairy farmers.

The project delivers on an Australian Government election commitment to develop a real-time dairy payment system and supply chain information sharing capacity using blockchain technology.

“Blockchain can assist in providing a shared view of truth about business transactions,” Mr Littleproud said.

“All sides know they are all looking at the same records and the history of their business relationship.”

A decentralised, peer-to-peer (person to person) network can give each farmer and each processor their own ‘node’ to keep information secure and private. When a farmer sells milk to a processor, their nodes use a ‘shared ledger’.

The ledger keeps a record of the contracts, milk that has been ordered and delivered, milk quality testing results and payments.

 “Building on standards already used in transport and logistics, warehousing, distribution, retailing and e-commerce ensures Australian producers and processors can participate efficiently and effectively in global markets,” Mr Littleproud said.

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The initial phase will raise industry awareness of blockchain and traceability benefits for dairy farmers through the delivery of a short video and information paper.

ADF president Terry Richardson said blockchain technology would be integral to helping improve the profitability and efficiency of the Australian dairy industry.

“The transparency and security of shared information using blockchain technology will demonstrate provenance and reduce costs to compete more aggressively in local and global markets,” Mr Richardson said.

“This first phase is all about education. It is a precursor to a field trial that will quantify benefits and set us up for a more digitalised future.”

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