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Liam O’Callaghan

BY LIAM O’CALLAGHAN

Australia targets traceability

More projects have received funding from the federal government as part of traceability programme aiming to give exporters an advantage

Australia targets traceability

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The University of Tasmania and the trial of data logging technology on table grapes are among the latest traceability projects funded under a new Australian federal government programme.

The Traceability Grants Programme is set to invest A$7m (US$5m) to enhance Australia’s agricultural supply chain traceability systems and provide an advantage for exporters in overseas markets.

The University of Tasmania has received funding to develop a cloud-based application focused on traceability of Australian fruit marketed in China.

Dugald Close, research team member of the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture, said the technology can be used to underscore the desirable qualities of Tasmanian fresh produce.

“Food quality, safety, freshness and taste are paramount in the minds of China’s burgeoning middle class, and Tasmania’s clean, green brand has our horticultural sector well positioned to help meet that growing demand,” Close said.

“We will develop a system that will allow two-way tracing of horticultural products along the supply chain, providing for streamlined extraction of information for compliance, food safety, and proof of provenance and authenticity.”

Data, including the pre-harvest seasonal conditions, production details such as agri-chemical use, and fruit variety, quantity, quality, location and time of packing, will be uploaded to the cloud-based data management centre.

Access will be provided to supply-chain participants to upload and retrieve this information to generate reports as needed.

“The system will be modular with scalability and applicability in mind to ensure relevance to other Australian fresh produce supply chains with minimal modification.

Jiangang Fei, of the Australian Maritime College and lead applicant, said the technology will have wide-ranging applications.

“The system will be modular with scalability and applicability in mind to ensure relevance to other Australian fresh produce supply chains with minimal modification.

Funding has also been granted to AND Fresh to allow it to carry out a trial of its Frigga Technology.

The data logger will be used to trace table grape exports from grower to retailer in the upcoming season. It captures information including location, temperature, humidity and light, which can be accessed on smartphone app in real-time.

Allan Anderson, managing director of AND Fresh, told 2GB there will be nine trials run next season.

“Our aim is to do nine trials, three trials into China, three trials into Japan, and three trials into Korea,” said Anderson.

“Each one of those trials will be on three different farms so we get a good cross-section to see what’s going on out there. It will give them the opportunity to look at any glitches in the cold chain.”

In addition to these two projects, others that have received funding include a blockchain traceability system developed by FreshChain.

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