AusPost, Alibaba fight food fraud in supply chain

Australia Post is participating in an initiative with e-commerce company Alibaba and natural health company Blackmores to combat the rise of counterfeit food being sold across China, with PwC acting as an adviser to the project.
The initiative will target the traceability of food products, reducing the risk of fraud and ensuring Australia remains a trusted exporter of high quality food, said Bob Black, CEO, StarTrack, and Executive General Manager Parcels, Australia Post. The project would help guarantee genuine products arrive safely into the hands of Chinese consumers, he added.
“We are delighted Alibaba has invited us to create an innovative platform, which will track food from paddock to plate, strengthening the supply chain,” Black said.
“The initiative will leverage our secure, reliable and fast service to support the authentication of Australian products bound for the Chinese market. Our food producers have a global reputation as being a clean, green and safe provider of food and we are pleased to help deliver a solution to enhance the integrity of their produce.”
The project will explore new technologies, including blockchain technology, to obtain crucial details from suppliers about where and how their food was grown and map its journey along the supply chain. The technology also has the potential to enable up-to-date audits, increasing transparency between producers and consumers.
“Food fraud is known to be one of the biggest issues facing the global food industry, considering the potential health risks associated with adulteration and loss of trust from consumers and governments,” Australia Post said in a statement. “In recent years counterfeiters have targeted popular Australian products such as health supplements, beer and wine, honey and cherries.”

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