February 25, 2024

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Digital Transformation in Australia’s Agrifood Exports

Australia, boasting a robust reputation and efficient systems, aims to enhance its agricultural and food exports by addressing significant inefficiencies in the current monitoring and reporting of food safety. It must be acknowledged that there are complexities and costs associated with the existing manual steps and duplicated reporting processes in the monitoring of food safety.

The burden on food producers and processors hampers scalability and growth in export value. To overcome these challenges, a digital transformation is deemed critical to streamline safety compliance and quality assurance data, reducing the regulatory burden while unlocking insights and opportunities for the industry.

The goal is to establish an interconnected food assurance system that not only ensures market access but also provides assurance across various attributes such as food safety, biosecurity, quality, animal welfare, provenance, and climate.

Collaborating with the Australian government’s Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF), and engaging with state regulators, Dr. Ryan McAllister, the lead for CSIRO’s Trusted Agrifood Exports Mission, aims to create a digital method that organises relevant data and specific modules to manage and assess risks at critical points along the supply chain.

The focus is on continuous assurance, utilising digital technology to collect, collate, and make data accessible from ‘paddock to plate.’ The project lead, Dr Bob Barlow, underscores the importance of turning compliance data into a valuable asset, particularly for export markets. The team is working towards creating a platform that transforms existing compliance tasks into real-time digital insights, with an initial emphasis on food safety compliance and plans to expand into quality, biosecurity, sustainability, and other trade-important credentials.

Dr. Barlow stressed the shift from static records to continuous, free-flowing information. The continuous assurance system allows for real-time analysis, moving away from the traditional approach of revisiting data only during regulatory audits. The potential benefits extend beyond meeting compliance standards to empowering food producers and processors to conduct audits on the fly and assess their performance across multiple metrics.

To pilot this approach, collaboration with major Australian beef processors, Australian Country Choice (ACC), and Teys Australia has been initiated. Funding from the Australian Government’s National Agriculture Traceability Grants Program and Meat & Livestock Australia supports the project. The initial step involves connecting the vast amount of data collected across supply chains, often scattered across different databases or disconnected systems.

The interconnected data sets offer valuable insights into business operations and opportunities for continuous improvement. For example, by analysing data related to ACC’s spray-chilling process, the team uncovered a small percentage difference in overnight carcase weight loss depending on the location in the chillers. This discovery led to potential cost savings of AU$5 to AU$7 million per chiller per year, with a total savings potential of AU$60 million for ACC.

The continuous data analysis approach is not limited to food safety; it extends to various operational aspects, as demonstrated by the weight-loss disparity in chillers. Dr Barlow estimates that solving similar issues across the industry could result in savings of up to AU$ 900 million annually.

Ultimately, the goal is to have data streams from multiple sources populating dashboards that update compliance in real-time. This real-time reporting not only facilitates quality and trade verifications but also uncovers potential process improvements that can lead to significant cost savings. The innovative use of continuous data analysis and real-time reporting is not merely about meeting compliance standards; it is a strategic move towards building and maintaining trust in the global market.

The Trusted Agrifood Exports Mission is pioneering a digital transformation in Australia’s food supply chains. By leveraging technology to streamline safety compliance, enhance data analysis, and provide real-time reporting, the mission aims to boost trust, trade, and the overall value of Australian agricultural exports. The collaboration with government agencies and industry stakeholders underscores the commitment to creating a sustainable and efficient food assurance system for the future.

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

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CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.

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Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

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HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

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IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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