Australian Dairy Farmers to Add Milk to the Blockchain

September 11, 2021, 10:15 AM AEST - 2 weeks ago

The Australian dairy industry has become the latest to start using blockchain technology to enable traceability and provide access regarding provenance.

The Australian Dairy Traceability Guideline, released on September 8, sets out common terms and codes for products in various parts of the supply chain. It will enable participants in the industry to track milk and dairy products and allow for real-time payment, having introduced a standard form contract to which both farmer and processor can be parties.

The technology will enable all involved in the sector to utilise the same approach to track products.

About the Industry

In order to remain successful, the dairy industry needed to address structural issues and the market power imbalance between farmers and processors. Australia’s share of the global trade in dairy has declined from 16 percent in the 1990s to only 6 percent today, and the number of dairy farms across the country has decreased from 15,000 to just over 5,000 over the same period.

This shrinkage of the industry has meant that profitability and productivity have become more reliant on how technology, information and data are shared, captured and used for mutual benefit.

Meting increased demand of customers in Australia and abroad will require new ways of operating, which is why the industry is looking to blockchain and smart contracts.

Blockchain and Smart Contract Assistance

In an increasingly globalised society, more information is sought about milk production, quality and consumption, and provenance. This is becoming a powerful tool for the industry and is helping to shape how it operates.

As the dairy industry modernises, more technology is becoming available to capture and share data about important production, product management and processing activity.  Sensors are increasingly being used to monitor production, reduce manual tasks, provide quality assurance, and automate business processes – including events that may trigger smart contract conditions.

The Australian Dairy Traceability Guideline

Blockchain and distributed ledger technology will combine to capture and share information about supply chain events. Blockchain will harness data on milk production, quality, and transport information, and when farmers and processors enter into standard agreements, ledger technology will automate payments using smart contracts.

Dairy Joins Other Australian Industries

Dairy is the latest Australian industry to get into blockchain. Last month, Crypto News Australia reported on how the merino wool industry has enlisted blockchain to ensure transparency of the entire supply chain. Also in August, Australia’s prized Kakadu plum industry embraced blockchain in the same manner.

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