“Plug-and-play” solution set to streamline traceability and advance exports to South-East Asia 

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The traceability solution is set to enhance customer confidence

Australia’s table grape industry will soon have access to a “plug-and-play” traceability solution designed to enhance customer confidence in and advance exports to South-East Asian markets. 

The Australian Table Grape Association (ATGA) has been awarded funding within a component of the Federal Government’s National Agriculture Traceability Grants programme focused on establishing robust traceability practices in Australian agriculture. 

The grant will allow industry to demonstrate its continued commitment to delivering safe, premium grapes to South-East Asian consumers. 

The ATGA will deliver a “game-changing” project which expands on the table grape industry’s successful 2021/22 traceability pilot, part of the Victorian Government’s Food to Market Program, which saw the development of an end-to-end traceability solution for industry. 

Australian table grapes are one of the nation’s top fresh fruit export products, and the industry’s 450 producer entities range from small family run farms to large-scale corporate structures. 

ATGA chief executive Jeff Scott said the project would address some existing challenges for traceability adoption by meeting growers where they are. 

The plug-and-play traceability solution will be accessible to all growers, regardless of business size, scope, and traceability requirements, and will digitally streamline compliance and operational requirements through existing platforms. 

“Australia’s table grape producers have refined their production and export management systems significantly over the past ten years,” Scott said. 

“Such sophisticated systems yield a wealth of information that is used for production, marketing and compliance purposes. That information helps producers respond to market requirements and build trustworthiness along the table grape export supply chain.” 

With this in mind, Scott said the project will aim to integrate producers’ existing systems within the new platform.  

“The data languages can talk, relieving some of the existing compliance pressures producers face and making traceability uptake easier,” he said.  

The ATGA will work with technology partner Result Group, who will reprise their role after being involved in the initial traceability pilot. 

“What started as a pilot in 2022 will now evolve into a comprehensive traceability solution for the entire sector,” Result Group group general manager Michael Dossor said. “To know that growers large, medium, and small will be able to access a traceability solution is great news and will help protect Australia’s premier produce. This funding support ensures that we continue to lead the way in innovation within the industry.” 

The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry’s deputy secretary of agricultural trade and regulation group, Tina Hutchison, said the initiative aimed to support collaborative projects that build on the National Agricultural Traceability Strategy. 

“These grant recipients are now working to significantly advance our traceability efforts in South-East Asia,” Hutchison said. “That’s vital work to grow new and existing markets and build confidence in Australian products that are safe, sustainable, and traced through all stages of production. It is important that our South-East Asian counterparts see how methodically we prioritise tracing Australian produce from paddock to plate.” 

The project work will take place from July 2024 onwards, with deployment across industry expected in late 2025.