Food Assurance and Blockchain Set to Transform NZ Economy

[Press Release] 

The world’s first “Trust Verified” channel for high quality food products to reach lucrative markets will be reviewed at Blockworks on 12th October; New Zealand’s premier blockchain event.

The ‘AsureQuality Food Trust Framework’ has been under development by AsureQuality, New Zealand Post and NZTE for the last 14 months and will be heralded as the first authenticated e-commerce shop front for New Zealand products.

The Food Trust Framework works by participating brand owners submitting their products to an exhaustive holistic review and verification covering all aspects of their brand story.  Success here allows access to the AsureQuality AQ Assured Assurance Mark – an on-pack endorsement from AsureQuality that enables total consumer transparency via a unique product QR code. These AQ Assured products then travel from producer to consumer via an independent third party verified physical delivery logistics system developed and operated by New Zealand Post. An electronic record of information from manufacturing to delivery ensures authenticity, quality and safety to a customer.

This world first framework will be used by a collective of New Zealand Maori producers who are launching a broad offering of trusted products including high quality wine, manuka honey, natural snack bars and sparkling tonic direct to Chinese consumers through e-commerce. The Maori Hui Collective will be officially launched at Parliament on the 15th October.

In addition, a proof of application blockchain trial is also in development, further building on the learnings and attributes of the Food Trust Framework. TrackBack, a company within the Centrality blockchain ecosystem, is providing the blockchain technology and expertise for the Proof of Application project.

Dene Green, General Manager International Strategy and Partnerships at New Zealand Post says proof of provenance is the biggest opportunity to grow value from New Zealand’s productive sector, by giving the supply chain security and eliminating counterfeit - and blockchain has the capability to help provide this.

“New Zealand products are desirable, and we are world leaders in many sectors, but the value of this is always under threat from others trying to trade on our quality.

“Counterfeit production is a real problem because it devalues our brand and impacts our reputation - a good example of this is that more manuka honey is sold in China every year than New Zealand produces, and authentic pure manuka is only produced here.

“Using blockchain, NZ Inc exporters have the capability to clearly guarantee origin to buyers.  This is important for them because it proves they are getting what they paid for, and it’s good for us because current market analytics are showing international customers are willing to pay a higher price to get the bone fide New Zealand product.

“And what applies to manuka honey applies to any other product and producer in New Zealand - blockchain has the potential to transform New Zealand business by giving everyone the opportunity to trade directly to buyers, eliminate middle-men and grow revenue and value for New Zealand exporters as a result,” he says.

New Zealand has been building its trade prowess for decades and is recognized as one of the best trading nations in the world - blockchain is set to give this global standing a boost. TrackBack, a company within the Centrality blockchain ecosystem, is currently providing the blockchain technology and expertise

Justin Flitter, founder of Blockworks says the regulated channel built on blockchain will give New Zealand a new approach to trading

“One of New Zealand’s challenges is our products having to pass through numerous intermediaries to reach the final consumer, with each one costing a mark-up or commission.  Blockchain has the potential to take away these hurdles by providing a transparent and trusted end-to-end supply chain. We believe it will give the smallest producer an opportunity for a direct channel to customers in international markets and streamline the way business operates.  It’s a huge opportunity for New Zealand to trade at the highest level despite our remoteness and small population.”

David McDonald, Director at TrackBack says it’s about taking that Sunday market feeling of creating a trusted connection between buyer and seller, and exporting this to the world - at massive scale.

The Food Trust Framework has come about because two New Zealand state-owned enterprises and a New Zealand Government agency are working together to give New Zealand producers a new commercial opportunity.

New Zealand Post provides the supply chain, logistics expertise and e-commerce connections, AsureQuality bring their trusted name and deep understanding of food assurance systems, and NZTE the trade relationships, China market experience and coalition know-how.

Justin Flitter, continues by saying blockchain is stretching people’s imaginations as it has the ability to transform commercial prospects by being secure and providing local control of data and information

“The potential of blockchain is endless for anyone with a high-quality product who isn’t necessarily based in a large market, and we have plenty of people like this in our innovative corner of the world. Blockchain is shaking off its association with bitcoin and being applied to many other verticals, trade and supply chain being examples.  There will be many aspects of the New Zealand economy that will be unblocked by using blockchain and it will create new opportunities for Kiwis to prosper.”

The Food Trust Framework piloted by AsureQuality, NZ Post and NZTE will be presented at the Blockworks conference on Friday 12th October.

Blockworks conference partners include: Microsoft, Centrality.ai, IBM, Air New Zealand, ClearFoundation, Cryptopia, the Blockchain Association of New Zealand, NZTE and ATEED.

The full-day conference will be at the ASB Waterfront Theatre in Wynyard Quarter, Auckland.

Tickets to Blockworks are available at blockworks.co.nz

ENDS

 

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