The Australian Government has announced further investment in an advanced blockchain traceability system that will help to protect the country’s clean, green, and safe food image, and boost export opportunities for growers. Vegetables Australia investigates the traceability benefits for Australia’s vegetable growers.

Tracing and tracking produce beyond the farmgate is more important than ever, with increasing complexities in the supply chain and rapidly evolving regulatory systems. FreshChain Systems is leading a pilot traceability project funded by the Australian Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (DAWE) and supported by the NSW Department of Primary Industries.

The aim of this project is to enable the adoption of a blockchain-based end-to-end traceability system in the horticultural supply chains in domestic and export sectors. The leading experts in food safety, traceability and marketing are collaborating on this project to ensure the traceability solution exceeds expectations of growers, traders, consumers, and regulators. The technology will help protect the Australian brand in domestic and export markets.

Modern, accurate and timely traceability systems provide assurances to trading partners and consumers about the safety and quality of the country’s produce. Digital end-to-end traceability also ensures improved freshness in products, ultimately reducing food waste.

The system is designed for easy adoption, effective with deep consumer insights and low cost so any grower can participate, irrespective of size or current system digitisation.

“Our goal is to help build a resilient fresh food supply chain by giving justified assurance to all partners in the supply chain,” FreshChain Systems Director Greg Calvert said.

“By doing so, we can open up new domestic and export opportunities for growers and help build reputation as a provider of fresh and safe food to the world.”

Case study: Introducing Kenrose Co to consumers

Ken and Sonia Duncan operate Kenrose Co, producing a variety of pumpkin and seedless watermelon in Ayr, located in northern Queensland’s Burdekin region.

The FreshChain team has been working remotely with Kenrose Co to develop a business showcase and the end-to-end trace elements. It has been providing support to create a video of the farm, the region, and introduce the Duncans to consumers.

“We delivered the training via an online platform in a couple of hours and were available as required with any questions they had – the beauty of technology,” Mr Calvert said.

“Ken and Sonia are keen to show their farm and their produce as well as give an insight into the Australian farming life. They see it as an opportunity to showcase the origin of their produce and why it is best in class.”

In addition, the Duncans wanted to educate consumers about their pumpkin and highlight its cooking versatility; health and nutritional benefits; how to store it correctly to reduce food waste; and even offer recipe suggestions.

“Ken and Sonia are excited about the deep consumer insights they will receive and learning more about who their customers are, how they rate the product and what they would like to know,” Mr Calvert said.

“It is also a chance to compare varieties. They see this as an opportunity to open up new markets, both locally and abroad, and in doing so, get more people eating pumpkin as part of their weekly cooking habit.”

Mr Calvert said consumers simply want to know more about the food they eat.

“We know consumer insights are highly valued as is the ability to quickly respond to issues; further digitisation across the supply chain will deliver this outcome. Our role is to make it easy, make it effective and make it affordable for all.”

Find out more

Please contact Greg Calvert at or visit the FreshChain website.

Cover image: Ken Duncan in the field with one of his team.

The Kenrose label on a product.

Pilot project: Expressions of interest now open

FreshChain Systems is inviting horticultural growers, packers, wholesalers, and exporters to participate in the pilot project.

Through their participation, businesses will experience the benefits of a cost-effective and robust traceability system that will help to remain a leader in the market and compliant with the regulatory systems.

To express your interest, please click here.

This article features in the spring 2020 edition of Vegetables Australia. Click here to read the full publication.