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Mangoes going crypto in the NT with Liberal-Nationals Government partnership on blockchain technology

12 December 2019

Joint media release with Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews MP and Senator for the Northern Territory, Senator Sam McMahon

A project seeking to revolutionise the mango supply chain in northern Australia, through the use of blockchain technology is a step closer to delivering for the industry, after receiving an additional $100,000 of Federal Government investment to scale-up commercial on-farm trials.

The Cooperative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia (CRCNA) collaboration between Manbulloo Mangoes (Manbulloo), blockchain start-up T-Provenance (T-Prov) and Growcom is part of a $1 million trial to establish and test T-Prov’s blockchain-based information integrity system across Manbulloo’s supply chain in Katherine (NT) and Ayr (Qld) into Coles’ distribution centres in Australia. The initial funding was awarded as part of the CRCNA’s first open funding call in 2017, with the project kicking off in April 2018.

Using devices like temperature sensors, Minister for Resources and Northern Australia, Matt Canavan said the technology, which will create a more streamlined supply chain by improving efficiency, is an exciting step forward being developed with the help of federal funding.

“T-Prov has worked alongside Manbulloo staff, and their supply chain partners including ripeners, logistic providers, quality controllers, certification bodies and food retailer Coles, to test the technology and systems in a commercial setting,” Minister Canavan said.

“Sensors are physically placed with the mangoes in their boxes to track their journey on the supply chain and measure data, like temperature, along the way. That can then inform decisions about how to better manage the supply process.

“This platform for transparent information sharing and data monitoring means insights and efficiencies are achievable.”

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said the project highlights the incredible opportunities that digital technologies like blockchain provide to our traditional industries like agriculture.

“Things like blockchain are difficult to appreciate in isolation but when you see it being used in very practical settings like this project, it shows the remarkable potential it presents to our food and agriculture sector,” Minister Andrews said.

“Embracing technology will be central to growing our agriculture sector, particularly in Australia’s north, which will boost local economies and create more local jobs.”

Senator for the Northern Territory, Dr Sam McMahon said the project was helping lead the way for innovation.

“Manbulloo can see where their fruit is across the supply chain in real-time and maintain proactive quality control and quality assurance protocol to address any issues immediately and complement what is already a best-in-industry approach.

“The additional $100,000 of co-investment from the CRCNA, plus funds raised from investors in T-Provenance, including from leading agriculture experts in Australia, is a vote of confidence for the project and the team. This project is shaping up to be a significant game-changer for the mango industry.”

The development team are building on the successes of the 2018-2019 mango season and are now scaling-up their platform to allow Manbulloo to lead the industry in quality control, quality assurance and optimal retailer acceptance rates.

T-Prov has worked closely with Manbulloo, Coles and their supply-chain partners, listening to their needs and adapting their systems accordingly. 

CRCNA CEO Jed Matz said the project is a great example of how the CRCNA works.

“This project brings together industry leaders, SMEs, entrepreneurs and big business to deliver project outcomes with broad impact across northern Australia.”

The impact of this project will be far-reaching and extend beyond the mango industry to other agricultural products and supply chain systems, which may benefit from the efficiencies this blockchain platform has demonstrated.

Media contacts:

Minister Canavan's office 02 6277 7180 

Minister Andrews' office 02 6277 7070

Senator McMahon's office 02 6277 3643