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Alibaba explores blockchain technology to prevent food fraud.

Alibaba explores blockchain technology to prevent food fraud

Alibaba Australia announced that it would be partnering PwC (Australia, New Zealand and China) to build a framework based on blockchain technology to curb food fraud.

Further to that, a memorandum of understanding was signed between Alibaba, Blackmores Limited and Australia Post to work together in building that framework.

The signing was done on the sidelines of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang’s visit to Australia, and was witnessed by Steven Ciobo, Australia minister for trade, tourism an investment.

Alibaba aims to develop a framework to mitigate food fraud risk and improve food trust practices and integrity. Australia will serve as a pilot trial, which could form the basis of a supply chain model that can be applied across Alibaba’s e-commerce markets.

The pilot will improve traceability models and develop blockchain technology solutions to curb counterfeit or fraudulent food products for participants to use.

“Food fraud is a serious global issue that not only costs the food industry billions every year, but puts consumers’ health at risk. The signing of today’s agreement is the first step in creating a globally respected framework that protects the reputation of food merchants and gives consumers further confidence to purchase food online,” said Maggie Zhou, managing director of Alibaba Group Australia and New Zealand

“Given Australia and New Zealand’s exemplary regulatory environments, along with being home to some of the world’s most successful food and beverage exporters, it was a natural decision to pilot the program here. We see the Australian and New Zealand markets setting the tone for the rest of the world when it comes to integrity, safety and quality of food supply chains,” she added.

This announcement comes on the back of Alibaba’s expansion into Australia, and calls for stronger penalties against counterfeiters.