Tracing Local Oranges Back To Their Roots

Victoria’s $162 million citrus export industry will be strengthened by a new program backed by the Andrews Labor Government to encourage better traceability in fruit supply chains.

Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes announced Citrus Australia will head the new traceability program with partnership support of $200,000 from Agriculture Victoria.

The trial will improve determining the fruit’s origin, protect against counterfeiting location of origin, secure market access and improve the way rapid food recalls within supply chains are made.

Citrus Australia has engaged technology companies Laava and Trust Provenance to provide digital fingerprint labelling – a more secure digital form of product identification – and Trust Provenance to provide blockchain technology so that multiple data points can be linked into one platform in real time.

The program will use these technologies to show traceability in horticultural businesses during a real time environment – from using unique codes for the fruit through to tracking them in the marketplace.

In 2018-19, Victoria exported 104,000 tonnes of citrus worth $162 million, playing a crucial role in the industry’s $850 million contribution to the national economy.

Growers, businesses and consumers will all benefit from a more transparent food traceability system by using emerging technology that can also improve export opportunities.

The program will take place over seven months during the 2020 citrus harvest period from early May to the end of July. The results will be used to show other horticultural industries the benefits of traceability.

The pilot will help meet the Victorian Government goal of growing food and fibre exports to $20 billion by 2030.

For more information visit agriculture.vic.gov.au/growingmarkets.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes

“Our traceability practices are crucial to building confidence in our horticulture sector, creating a shared understanding about how our food is produced.”

“Our citrus industry continues to shine, with exports growing steadily year on year – I commend the Victorian citrus industry for taking this proactive step that will provide benefits for them and our trading partners.” 

Quote attributable to Citrus Australia Chief Executive Nathan Hancock

“International customers are vital to the future success of the industry and we’re excited to lead this project, which will help secure existing and future market access and protect our reputation of growing the world’s best fruit.”