Australian Government Awards Grant to Blockchain Project for Sustainable Sugar

The Australian government has granted A$2.25 million ($1.7 million) to the Sustainable Sugar Project, Foodnavigator-Asia reports July 30.

The Sustainable Sugar Project, led by the Queensland Cane Growers Organization, will use blockchain technology to track the provenance of sugar supplies to Australia. The initiative known as the Smart Cane Best Management Practice (BMP) is part of a sugar industry push for better sustainability and traceability. 

Blockchain technology will purportedly allow buyers to clearly see where sugarcane comes from and prove the provenance and sustainability of the farm. Canegrowers told Foodnavigator-Asia:

“Blockchain’s main attribute is that it’s a secure database in which all transactions are recorded and visible… the quality sugar produced from the sustainably-grown cane can be traced back through the chain, giving consumers confidence in what they are buying.”

For the initiative, industry experts and sugarcane farmers collaborated on best practices and industry standards based on productivity, sustainability, and profitability.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources stated that large buyers of sugar could pay more in the future for sustainable sugar, as customers increasingly demand sustainably-sourced products. Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said:

“This technology would provide assurances around the sustainability of our sugar and ensure cane farmers using sustainable practices can attract a premium for their product.”

Blockchain technology has proven to be a boon for logistics and supply chain applications, and is widely regarded as a cheaper and more efficient way to track complex supply chains globally.

Today, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia announced that it completed a successful trade of 17 tons of almonds to Europe using blockchain technology. The platform, which was part of a collaborative effort of five “supply chain leaders,” is underpinned by distributed ledger technology (DLT), Internet of Things (IoT), and smart contracts.

Earlier this month, U.S. computer technology firm Oracle released its blockchain platform focusing on transaction efficiency and supply chain authentication. Oracle Blockchain Cloud Service uses Hyperledger Fabric as its basis and launched following a series of trials with banking, business, and government clients.