PwC explores blockchain solutions with Alibaba and food industry stakeholders to help address supply chain fraud and build trust in the food industry

Hong Kong, 24 Mar 2017 - PwC announced today that it will work with Alibaba (Australia) Company Pty. Ltd. (“Alibaba”), a member of Alibaba Group Holding Limited (NYSE:BABA) to provide services and advice to build better trust in the supply chain of food products. A memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed today in Canberra, Australia setting out Alibaba's intentions and the involvement of Blackmores Limited and Australia Post.

The signing of the agreement was witnessed at a ceremony at Parliament House by The Hon Steven Ciobo MP, Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, on the sidelines of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang’s visit to Australia.

Alibaba's desire is to develop a framework to address food fraud risk and provide the basis for improvement in food trust practices and integrity across the supply chain of food products traded through the Alibaba platform. This will include consideration of enhanced traceability models to trace products from producers to consumers in China and the introduction of new technologies (including blockchain and other innovative solutions) to help mitigate counterfeit and fraudulent food products.

The framework will initially be piloted for goods to be imported into China from Australia and New Zealand. Ultimately, it is envisioned that the framework can be applied across all of Alibaba Group’s e-commerce markets.

Research conducted by Michigan State University shows fraud costs the global food industry an estimated USD40billion each year. Furthermore, PwC research shows 39 per cent of food companies say it is easy to fake their food products and 42 per cent believe there is no method for detecting fraud, beyond standard food checks.

"Fraud is a growing global problem in the supply chain, and no product is immune to it," said Raymund Chao, PwC’s Greater China Chairman. "Food fraud is particularly concerning as it undermines the integrity of products, erodes the trust of consumers, and impacts the health of communities."

"At PwC, our purpose is to build trust in society and solve important problems. We demonstrate the power of our Network in working seamlessly cross-border and cross-discipline to assist stakeholders in the food industry seeking to improve supply chain transparency and create a safe and trusted marketplace for consumers. We envisage our services to Alibaba will create impact that will truly deliver on our firm’s purpose."

PwC has a worldwide network of over 223,000 professionals including specialists and technology providers in the food industry. Professionals from our network of firms in 157 countries are committed to working closely with clients to address challenges related to food supply and integrity.

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