Supply Chain Integrity Phase 2 Digital Initiative

Australia has a reputation for high quality food that is safe to eat. Consumer trust in the provenance of that food – including region of origin, sustainability and ethical production – creates premium products that command higher prices and open up new markets for Australian producers. The long-term goal of the Supply Chain Integrity Phase 2 initiative is to support the national target of growing the Australian agricultural sector to $100B by 2030. This second phase continues our focus on strengthening supply chain integrity systems for Australian industry and uses the red meat sector as a use case to develop and validate technologies that enhance brand trust, privacy and efficiency for producers.

The first phase of the Supply Chain Integrity Digital Mission was completed in September 2019 delivering research outcomes in private data analytics, computer vision, automated compliance and security relevant to supply chains. This second phase builds upon the outcomes of the first phase by maturing integrity research and integrating technologies for industry demonstrators in the red meat industry.

The three research work packages are:

  1. Automated Farm Provenance. Most of the provenance claims valued by consumers relate to the farm where the animals are raised. These include origin (region or country), animal welfare and sustainable practices. This work package addresses how we can generate trustworthy provenance information, and do this at the farm whilst keeping the farmer’s data private. Using farm sensors to automatically validate compliance provides decision support to farmers, reduces regulatory burden and simplifies market access.
  2. Production Traceability. Complementing the creation of trustworthy provenance information through the supply chain, we use data analytics to ensure the integrity of that information. The projects in this work package enable traceability through aggregation and disaggregation of agricultural produce, and detection of anomalous data due to data errors or fraud.
  3. Biological Origin. A problem with supply chain integrity is that even with perfect integrity of the digital data, there remains the possibility of substitution of the food product so the digital data does not relate to the food purchased by the consumer. To overcome this there is ongoing research to create a physical signature of the product based on physical characteristics such isotopic ratios, trace elements and genomic information that can be measured to verify the biological origin of an agricultural product. Some of the physical data required for the model will be private data that farmers do not want to share, so enhancing this work package is research in private data analytics to enable a model of biological origin to be learned while maintaining each farmer’s data privacy.

This initiative will result in industry demonstrators as a basis for validation and commercialisation, leveraging existing industry relationships with Integrity Systems Company and Meat Livestock Australia.. By design, the research from this initiative contributes directly to the CSIRO Trusted Agrifood Exports Mission.