Blockchain blooms in agribusiness

Katie McDonaldDecember 7, 2018
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Australian startup AgriDigital is beginning to harvest the benefits blockchain technology can offer agricultural supply chains.

Founded in late 2015 by a group of grain brokers frustrated with the industry’s inefficiencies and lack of digital progress, AgriDigital has been exploring ways it can transform agricultural supply chains globally.

The business has since developed a cloud-based commodity management platform that it says can make buying, storing and selling grain easier and more secure; managing contracts, deliveries, inventories, orders, invoices and payments, in real-time all in one place.

In 2016 the business turned to blockchain.

Speaking at the Perth Blockchain Central event earlier this week, as part of the 2018 West Tech Fest, AgriDigital’s blockchain project lead Bridie Ohlsson told Coincast News the team had proven the ability to integrate blockchains into online systems as a means to improve trust and produce traceability.

“Blockchain can offer solutions to challenges in three key spaces; trade, finance and traceability,” AgriDigital blockchain project lead Bridie Ohlsson told Coincast News.

“Crops start on a farm, then move all the way through a supply chain and then ends up in something we consume – it’s a really complex process and this shared ledger technology offers a good solution.”

Ms Ohlsson said blockchain had been a driving force behind AgriDigital’s go-to market strategy; to offer real-time finance, secure payments for farmers and provide transparent produce traceability.

“It provides a feedback loop on how the product actually does in market, which is pretty tricky at the moment,” Ohlsson said.

“Often with our supply chains we don’t actually communicate with more than just one participant.”

Ms Ohlsson said that was particularly archaic and problematic considering how many hands a commodity can pass through, from farm through to bulk handling and retail.

“We’re starting to see a lot of engagement (with blockchain) from traditional agricultural participants,” Ohlsson said.Click To Tweet

“Walmart is doing a massive push off the back of some leafy green issues across the US. We’re seeing similar things in Australia and governments are paying attention.”

AgriDigital has already worked with CBH Group, Australia’s largest grain exporter, as well as a number of other farms across the country.

Ms Ohlsson said the team was now working on a number of commercial products it planned to release by the end of next year.

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