Alibaba taps blockchain for food safety initiative

Alibaba taps blockchain for food safety initiative

Alibaba is part of a consortium which has introduced a food tracing system based on blockchain technology.

The initiative, which includes two New Zealand-based companies, Fonterra and New Zealand Post, as well as Australia’s Blackmores and Australia Post, goes by the name of Food Trust Framework. It is using an immutable central ledger to achieve “end-to-end supply-chain traceability and transparency to enhance consumer confidence and build a trusted environment for cross-border trade,” according to a joint statement.

To do so, Alibaba’s Tmall Global marketplace incorporates various standards and controls to manage the supply chain process, including blockchain technology and product tagging with unique QR codes. The technologies will authenticate, verify, record and provide an ongoing ledger that is made public to report on the transfer of ownership and provision of products and goods. 

This follows on from Alibaba’s announcement that it would collaborate with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Australia and New Zealand to implement a framework to ensure product authenticity and provide a trusted marketplace for consumers.

“Food fraud is a significant global challenge, particularly with the growing complexity of supply chains,” says Alvin Liu, General Manager of Tmall Import & Export. “In response, we have created a coordinated, world-leading and robust framework that involves stakeholders from across the supply chain to improve visibility and enhance the confidence of both consumers and merchants.”

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