Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, consultancy PwC and New Zealand Dairy giant Fonterra have teamed up to develop a system that will track the global supply chain of food products, said PwC China.
According to a memorandum of understanding signed earlier, the companies will work together to develop a blockchain solution that will track the supply chain from paddock to plate.
Blockchain, a distributed database that maintains a continuously growing list of ordered records, which cannot be altered retroactively once recorded, is well-suited to reassure customers of the quality of food products, and will create a more transparent environment for the movement of shipments.
Alibaba said the aim of the partnership would be to establish a system to lead food quality and safety standards and improve practice and integrity across the food sector.
For the pilot period, the system will be used to track Chinese imports from Australia and New Zealand, with the aim of rolling it out across all of Alibaba Group's online marketplaces.
Australia Post, Australian health company Blackmores and New Zealand Post are also parties to the memorandum.
China-Australia and China-New Zealand free trade agreements have helped bring food products from Australia and New Zealand, such as lobster, wines, cherries and dairy products, to Chinese dining tables.
“Chinese consumers are increasingly demanding safe, high quality products,” said Christina Zhu, Fonterra president for Greater China. “With China's more and more open trade policies, businesses are offered better opportunities to grow and expand into China.”