SOUTH Australian grain growers will participate in a new collaboration between Coopers Brewery, Grain Producers SA and agtech company Trust Provenance which will see barley tracked and traced from paddock to beverage.
Through funding from the South Australian Government’s AgTech Growth Fund, barley growers will work with Trust Provenance’s software to capture data points along the barley’s journey, then link into Coopers’ software to enable a full paddock-to-beverage traceability platform.
GPSA chief executive officer Brad Perry said it was a unique opportunity for South Australian malting barley growers to take part in an innovative paddock-to-beverage traceability pilot project.
“Many of our grain producers already supply high-quality malting barley to Coopers Brewery and in this project, they will be following barley through the many stages to the end product, a high-quality beer,” Mr Perry said.
“As part of the traceability program, engagement will occur with a number of growers directly and with grain trading company ADM, to cover all critical tracking events and understand the practical and commercial requirements of all stakeholders.
“The growing global trend for real-time and transparent proof of claim is finding its way into procurement programs for food manufacturers and retailers.
“Making sure South Australian grain producers are future-proofed against evolving supply chain demands is an important part of this program.”
Trust Provenance chief executive officer Andrew Grant said data will be viewable through a unique QR code for each batch of barley.
“This allows for real-time monitoring, management and feedback and allows grain producers and Coopers to provide a new level of trust on quality and sustainability and align with consumers’ demand for greater transparency on the beverages they are consuming,” Mr Grant said.
“Ultimately, we would want to get a unique QR code on a stubby or box of beer to enable that story…from the farm gate to Coopers.”
He said the initial phase will be a 12-month project which will hopefully expand into the future.
“We will be looking to on-board as many farmers as we can eventually, although the initial target is 10.”
Coopers Brewery malting manager Doug Stewart said the technology will allow the company to better communicate with consumers about the origins of their drinks.
“Traceability with this barley application will allow us to more clearly demonstrate the superior qualities and provenance of the grains we use, which provides a range of monitoring, food safety and marketing advantages,” Mr Stewart said.
Wider applications possible
Mr Grant said this is just the first step for the Trust Provenance application.
He said it was clear that the wider grains industry will see an increase in demand for technology that can accurately trace products in real time.
“I think you are going to see a transition towards digital technology for traceability, because people who are procuring grains will be saying that we need to have more integrity and more confidence in the data and we need to be able to see that in real time.”
He said this also goes for consumers who want to be assured that their Australian-grown product is accurate and verifiable.
“I am an avid believer that consumers want to know more and more about what they are consuming to make sure that it’s helping out the local community or to make sure it is safe, clean and green.”
Mr Grant said his company is currently in conversation with growers from other states, as well as those producing crops other than barley, to see how the software can be adapted to suit their requirements.
Source: Grain Producers SA