Chairman’s Highlights

It’s been a while since penning some consolidated thoughts. But that says more about the pace and volume of developments at BeefLedger than anything else. Here are some highlights:

  1. The market and institutional context is incredibly fluid. The post COVID19 environment has seen the trading landscape change. In the real economy, this has seen a short term hit to global (and national) demand, though key markets like those of China are coming back now. The most significant development coming out of COVID19 has been the rapid growth in the e-commerce home delivery channel. This is something that we were working towards, with our partnership with China social e-commerce platform Liberty Post, but which needed some fast-tracking in February and March. On the ground rejuvenation seems to be taking place now, which bodes well for Australian exporters.

    Direct to consumers is the emerging model of preference.
  2. Institutionally, trade tensions have risen and this has seen the suspension of 4 Australian abattoirs by China for technical violations. This isn’t the first time, and our contacts in the processing sector tell us they are working hard to remedy any process defects.
  3. Our technical capabilities are well-suited to supporting the medium-term resolution of labelling and information-related problems. The ability to deploy these technologies will be aided by our recently executed 36-month / 4-phase project agreement with Future Food Systems CRC. This comprehensive project aims to develop a generalised smart trade capability for food exports in general.
  4. Speaking of CRCs, the work with the Food Agility CRC on the Export Smart Contracts Project is now coming down the home stretch. Some great work has been produced through this proof of concept project, which has so far seen the project and certain parts of it nominated for 2 Good Design Australian Awards. This is a testament to the agility and creative energy and commitment of all involved. Well done.

    The Good Design Australia Awards have been running for over 60 years, recognising the best in design across the country
  5. Technological-wise, the development of new features and upgrading of user interfaces continues. Version 0.2 will soon be released to users for feedback. An interface refresh was undertaken earlier this year, giving the WebApp a clean, simple to use, experience. No doubt, we will be doing much more to it over the next 12 months to do justice to the work of everybody that has been involved in the design of the ecosystem and mechanisms, as well as functionality elements.
  6. Our international focus has seen us engage with users and potential collaborators in Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, New Zealand and Africa. We’ve also been working with a team out of Israel focused on the financial ecosystem, and ways in which the technology can be harnessed to improve access to supply chain finance. On the flip side, this could also open up opportunities for investors around to world to get involved in the Australian beef supply chain. There’s some way to go on these fronts, but we continue to expand our horizons.
  7. I am particularly proud of our contribution of Australian Beef to the residents of Wuhan. We donated 20,000 portions of Limestone Coast black angus, in partnership with LibertyPost, as a sign of support to the citizens of Wuhan. The goodwill we have received in return has been overwhelming, with friends and colleagues sending medical masks to us as Australia confronted the Coronavirus.

    It’s a team effort with shared values for humanity
  8. Our collaboration with researchers at QUT continues to bear fruit. A number of academic papers have been completed as well as more ‘industry facing’ research reports. The report on China consumer insights makes for interesting reading. Thanks to Food Agility CRC for their support on this research.
  9. Our Mechanism design driven work on fraud mitigation is coming together. There’s quite a bit of work to be done to get it to where we want to be, but the directions and signs are promising.
  10. In team news, the technology development team has also been expanding. We have added new capabilities prudently in light of specific requirements. The core team in Brisbane are amongst some of the best developers in the blockchain space in Australia. Meanwhile Val Natanelov has finished up at QUT.

There’s much else besides in the pipeline, and we look forward to working with our extensive stakeholder community to deliver on our commitments to improving value creation and preservation in the beef supply chain, and deliver improved outcomes all around.