Adelaide agtech-focused blockchain startup T-Provenance has received $500,000 in funding through Data61 and the CRCNA, the Cooperative Research Centre for developing Northern Australia, to run a pilot aimed at supporting mango producers.
Founded in 2016 out of Availer, an organisation working to commercialise research, the startup will work with mango producers Growcom and Manbullo Limited to look at the applications of its technology to ensure food safety, quality, traceability, and authenticity throughout the supply chain.
The startup has Internet of Things-enabled sensors and chips to monitor things like temperature as the produce moves through the supply chain.
Jackson Virgo, CTO of T-Provenance, said that the combination of blockchain and IoT technology will provide “a new level of quality assurance and trust” in how fruits and vegetables go from farm to table.
“By building the first platform to ensure traceability and quality control from field to fruit salad, we can help optimise quality, optimise shelf life, optimise taste, and reduce wastage and quality reduction flow-on costs. Blockchain is the missing piece in the puzzle and will foster the necessary data collaboration to enable these outcomes,” he said.
Marie Piccone, CEO of Manbullo Limited, added that the company is excited to be “pioneering” a unique approach to tackling the supply chain problem.
“Australian producers are globally recognised both for the quality of our produce and our ingenuity in delivering efficiency from the farm gate to the plate. T-Provenance has the potential to revolutionise the mango supply chain and deliver benefits for growers,” she said.
“By using the blockchain to provide transparency from the farmer to the consumer, we can truly keep Australia at the cutting edge of agricultural technology.”
The trial will run for two years, with a total project value of $830,000.
According to Sheriden Morris, chair of the CRCNA, 10 percent of value will be added to farm gate production through the successful adoption of the technology in the mango industry, or around $14 million per year.
A number of Australian agtech startups are working to apply blockchain to the supply chain.
Among them is AgriDigital, which last year raised $5.5 million in a Series A round led by Square Peg Capital.
Helping farmers get paid in real-time to solve the industry problem of counterparty risk for buyers and banks, the platform helps buyers create prices and contracts and manage deliveries and invoices, including remittance and deduction.
Meanwhile, Queensland startup BlockGrain in January raised $1 million, or 800,000 worth of XEM tokens, through the global NEM blockchain investment fund.
Founded in 2014, BlockGrain allows growers, brokers, and logistics companies to track grain at harvest and through the supply chain to consumers.
Image:Andrew Grant and Jackson Virgo. Source: Supplied.