Blockchain technology delivers sweet success for Northern Australian mango producer

A project seeking to revolutionise the Northern Australian mango supply chain is a step closer to delivering for the industry - after securing more cash to scale-up commercial on-farm trials.

pink sensors

Internet of Things (IoT) sensors are placed in mango crates in packing sheds and travel with the fruit to the retailer - transmitting real-time data to the blockchain platform along the way. These sensors monitor things like temperature, humidity and time in transit.

The Cooperative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia (CRCNA) collaboration between Manbulloo Limited (Manbulloo), blockchain start-up T-Provenance (T- Prov) and Growcom is part of a $1 million Smart supply chain project 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 CRCNA'S initial funding of $272,000 has been bolstered by an additional $100,000 cash co-contribution and additional in-kind and cash contributions from project participants Manbulloo and T-Prov. 

Minister for Resources and Northern Australia, Senator Matt Canavan said 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.

“This project is all about using data to improve efficiency across the supply chain. 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.

“By providing a platform for transparent information sharing and data monitoring across the supply chain, data insights and data  -  efficiencies are achievable," he said.

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.

“This project is shaping up to be a significant game-changer for the mango industry," she said.

T-Prov founder Andrew Grant said 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.

“Collectively the system will increase overall fruit quality control, and ultimately reduce waste, increase product quality, increase the consumer eating experience and enable time and labour efficiencies to all in the supply chain.

"Manbulloo has shown leadership and demonstrated how investing in R&D and incorporating innovative solutions can transform a business and, potentially a whole industry," he said.

CRCNA CEO Jed Matz said the Smart Supply Chain project is a great example of how the CRCNA brings together industry leaders, SMEs and entrepreneurs and big businesses to deliver project outcomes with broad impact across Northern Australia.

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

Media enquiries

Carla Keith , CRCNA Communications Manager  0499 330 051

Andrew Grant, T-Provenance 0418 573 505