Chinese E-commerce Giant Alibaba Begins Blockchain Food Supply Chain Trial

Announcements, Blockchain | April 27, 2018 By:

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has launched a blockchain pilot to increase supply chain transparency for Australian and New Zealand products.

Launched in Auckland, Alibaba’s Food Trust Framework initiative aims to give end-to-end traceability and transparency throughout the supply chain to enhance consumer confidence and build a trusted trading environment. In addition to blockchain technology, the framework will also tag products using QR codes to authenticate, verify, record, and provide ongoing reporting throughout the product’s life cycle.

The pilot follows Alibaba’s announcement last year that it would engage PwC in Australia, New Zealand, and China as a service provider to help the company set up a framework to protect product authenticity and provide a trusted marketplace for consumers.

Vitamin and supplement maker Blackmores and dairy brand Fonterra are the first companies to use the framework. Blackmores will be shipping Odorless Fish Oil from Australia to China. While Fonterra is shipping Anchor dairy products from New Zealand to consumers in China, who can purchase them on Alibaba’s Tmall Global platform.

If the pilot is successful, Alibaba said it could form the basis of a global supply chain model to authenticate, verify, record and provide ongoing reporting of the transfer of ownership and provision of products and goods across all of Alibaba’s e-commerce markets.

Alvin Liu, Alibaba Group general manager of Tmall Import & Export, said that food fraud is a significant global challenge, particularly with the growing complexity of supply chains. In response, he said they have created a coordinated and robust framework that involves stakeholders from across the supply chain to improve visibility and enhance the confidence of both end consumers and merchants.