Australia Post, Alibaba partner to fight food fraud

australia-postAustralia Post has partnered with e-commerce giant Alibaba and vitamins group Blackmores to fight counterfeit food products being sold across China by using blockchain technology.

The companies will use the technology to track details from suppliers about where and how their food was grown and map its journey across the supply chain.

Australia Post executive general manager Parcels and StarTrack CEO, Bob Black, said the project would help guarantee genuine products arrive safely into the hands of Chinese consumers.

“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.

He added the initiative will 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.”

According to Australia Post, food fraud is 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.

In recent years counterfeiters have targeted popular Australian products such as health supplements, beer and wine, honey and cherries, the company stated.

Maggie Zhou, Alibaba’s managing director in ANZ, said the project puts Alibaba on the front lines of a serious global issue.

“Food fraud is a serious global issue that not only costs the food industry billions every year, but puts consumers’ health at risk,” she said.

“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.

“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.”

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