Work on a new pilot project promising to enhance quality monitoring of northern Australian mangoes and reduce food waste has kicked off in Queensland.
Blockchain expert Trust Provenance (T-Provenance) has implemented the solution at Manbulloo Limited's Horseshoe Lagoon property in the Burdekin, trialling their new monitoring technology as produce is boxed, stacked in pallets and loaded on to trucks ready to be sent to market.
The A$755,000 project collaboration between T-Provenance, Manbulloo Limited and Growcom was awarded $272,700 in funding from the Cooperative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia (CRCNA) as part of the organisation's open funding call in October 2017. Since then, T-Provenance has been honing its platform tech and waiting for the mango harvest to hit full stride at the North Queensland property.
T-Provenance will use a network of sensors attached to fruit trays and pallets to track tens of thousands of mangoes on their journey from the farm to the retailer.
The sensors will time stamp the fruit as it's boxed, then provide real-time data feedback on temperature and humidity. This data will help those along the supply chain better understand how various factors influence the quality of the fruit that ends up on consumer's plates and provide retailers more information to help them reduce fruit spoilage and waste.
The platform will provide valuable insights to growers, packers, logistics providers and retailers as it incorporates internet of things (IoT) technology for measurement and monitoring capabilities, and new blockchain technology to ensure food safety, food quality, food traceability and food authenticity.
T-Provenance chief technology officer Jackson Virgo said this was the first time the team have trialled the tech on a real-time basis, with further testing to take place in Mareeba early in 2019.
"Using our newly developed blockchain platform, we'll be able to link the track-and-trace systems of multiple parties along the supply chain in a trustworthy fashion," Virgo said.
"Most importantly, we'll be able to give all parties access to data such as ambient temperatures via a blockchain system which integrates directly with their own system."
"We're confident we'll be providing the most comprehensive view of what happens to the beloved mango from farm to the fruit shop," Virgo said.
CRCNA chief executive Jed Matz was at the Manbulloo property to see the tech in action first-hand.
"This project was funded as part of our first open funding call in October 2017, so it is exciting to see significant progress has been made in getting the tech to farm," Matz said.
"As one of Australia's largest mango producers, Manbulloo's role in this project will provide a pathway for other growers to adopt the technology and potentially change what they are doing in their business."
"Improving transparency along the supply chain gives consumers confidence and is highly valued by many of our international markets," Matz said.