Teaming up to explore technology to drive food safety and quality


Our goal to be the most trusted source of dairy nutrition took another step forward today when Fonterra signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Alibaba, NZ Post and PWC to take the lead in driving food quality and safety standards right across the supply chain.

Chief Operating Officer Global Consumer and Foodservice, Jacqueline Chow said the partnership would give consumers more confidence in the products they are buying.

“We are pleased Alibaba has invited us to develop an innovative platform, which will strengthen the supply chain. Connecting our Co-operative with consumers and being able to reassure them about the quality and safety of our products is fundamental to being the most trusted source of dairy nutrition.

“The project will complement the world leading electronic product traceability work we introduced last year. It is all about providing consumers with the opportunity to have a personal connection with their food and let them know more about the source of their food, how it is produced and how it moves through the supply chain,” she said.

Maggie Zhou, Managing Director of Alibaba Group Australia and New Zealand was in Auckland for the signing and said: “Food safety and quality is a serious global issue that not only costs the food industry billions every year, but puts consumers’ health at risk. The signing of today’s memorandum is the first step in creating a globally respected framework that protects the reputation of food merchants and gives consumers further confidence to purchase food online. 

“Given New Zealand and Australia’s exemplary regulatory environments, along with being home to some of the world’s most successful food and beverage exporters, it was a natural decision to pilot the programme here. We see the New Zealand and Australian markets setting the tone for the rest of the world when it comes to integrity, safety and quality of food supply chains.” 

The project will enhance traceability models and introduce new technologies to stop the production of counterfeit and fraudulent food products. This will include the development of a pilot blockchain technologies solution model to be used by participants across the supply chain.

Blockchain technologies often referred to as the “internet of trust”, were originally developed to track the transfer of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. These technologies authenticate, verify, permanently record and provide ongoing reporting in relation to the transfer of ownership of goods – including food products.