Australian farmers have started to use blockchain to track produce from paddock to plate

Michele Mossop/Getty Images
  • BlockGrain uses blockchain technology to track farm produce, reducing wastage.
  • It has raised $3.5 million privately and has launched a $25 million public token, or initial coin offering, sale.

BlockGrain, a software solution to automate the sharing of information across all agriculture supply chains, just raised $3.5 million from private investors.

The startup is also launching Australia’s first public token, or initial coin offering, sale in the agriculture industry, looking for $25 million.

BlockGrain allows farmers, their brokers and logistic companies to track grain from a farm during harvest to an end user. It also provides farmers the ability to create, manage and track commodity contracts.

This graphic lays out the role of data transparency in the food supply chain.

Source: BlockGrain

It is estimated that 30% of the value in bulk commodities is lost due to inefficient supply chains and intermediaries in western economies. This figure increases to 50% in the developing world.

Funds raised will be used to expand BlockGrain’s presence in Australia and overseas.

Blockchain uses computers with advanced encryption to keep track of transactions, giving confidence to both buyers and sellers. Transactions of the cryptocurrency bitcoin are tracked used blockchain.

Founders Caile Ditterich and Sam Webb want to increase transparency and paddock to plate traceability of produce. Ditterich was born on a family farm in Victoria and has 15 years experience in the grains industry.

Ditterich says the complexity in the agriculture supply chain results in major inefficiencies and productivity issues for farmers, brokers and logistics companies.

“This is how the concept of BlockGrain was formed. It was created with the mission to solve real life problems faced by our agriculture industry today in real-time,” he says.

“Our public token sale is giving everyday consumers the opportunity to provide the farming industry with the tools and resources it needs to continue being the backbone of our society.

“As we reach a stage of excessive product proliferation, both manufacturers and consumers alike are looking for the next level of differentiation. We believe this will come through our secure paddock to plate traceability allowing for single origin products to be a adopted at a mass scale.”

BlockGrain is being advised by Martin Davidson and Anouk Pinchetti from Melbourne’s Blockchain Centre, Gerard Toscan, the key founder of a greenfield cotton gin, and Brendan Stewart, former Chairman of AWB, Australia’s largest agricultural company and largest grain handler.

BlockGrain is focused on grain and cereal but is also looking at the Australian fruit and wool industry over the next two years.

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