JD Ramps up Australian Imports with InterAgri Partnership on Pure Black Angus Beef

Joint blockchain traceability program to guarantee confidence in the supply chain

JD Ramps up Australian Imports with InterAgri Partnership on Pure Black Angus Beef

Weeks after opening its first office in Australia to support Australian exporters selling to China, JD.com today announced a new partnership with InterAgri, a leading exporter of Australian meat products, to bring premium Pure Black Angus Beef products to Chinese consumers for the first time. JD and InterAgri are also working on a blockchain-enabled traceability system that will provide consumers with even greater transparency on where their beef comes from and how it has been managed at every step of the production process. Following a successful collaboration with Chinese domestic meat producer Kerchin, the project with InterAgri is JD’s latest smart supply chain project that leverages blockchain technology to bring confidence to consumers.

Pure Black Angus Beef is sourced from HW Greenham & Sons Pty Ltd (Greenham), a sixth-generation Australian business exporting the highest quality, sought-after Australian meat from cattle grown in south eastern Australia – mainly Victoria, Tasmania and the lush south eastern corner of South Australia, where the temperate climate is ideal for high quality beef production. When the blockchain system is implemented later this Spring, it will enable consumers to track each piece of Pure Black Angus Beef right back to the farm in Australia where it was produced. Consumers will be able to access a wide range of information, including details of animals, such as where and how the animal was raised, and how the meat was processed and transported.

This focus on quality is a key differentiator for JD.com in China, where consumers are increasingly focused on product authenticity and safety. As part of its smart supply chain initiative, which leverages technology to bring efficiency and transparency to the supply chain, JD is already implementing blockchain tracing technology in several areas of its business. At the end of last year, JD, Walmart, IBM, and Tsinghua University National Engineering Laboratory for E-Commerce Technologies launched the Blockchain Food Safety Alliance, which is designed to enhance food tracking, traceability and safety in China to achieve greater transparency across the food supply chain.

Commenting on the latest partnership, Chen Zhang, JD.com’s CTO, said, “We’re excited to partner with InterAgri to deliver this level of transparency to our 266 million customer base. We’re increasingly implementing blockchain-enabled traceability solutions to give consumers confidence that they are buying safe, reliable products for their families. Consumers in China don’t just want quality imported products, they want to know that they can trust how and where their food is sourced, and blockchain helps us deliver this peace of mind.”

The launch of Pure Black Angus Beef on JD.com comes as consumer demand for premium-quality imported fresh food is soaring.  In 2016, China imported $737.3 million of Australian beef according to Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA), but demand for beef is expected to continue growing rapidly. MLA estimates that in 2020 China will consume 82.2 million tonnes of beef, versus just 74 million tonnes this year, while research by Rabobank suggests that imported beef will account for up to 20% of consumption in 2020.

Adrian McCorkell, Director of InterAgri, said, “The demand for premium Australian beef in China has exploded over the last few years, but we are still just scratching the surface of the addressable market. By partnering with JD.com, and tapping into its reputation for quality and ability to bring fresh food to the doorsteps of hundreds of millions of potential consumers, we’re unlocking a huge opportunity for Australian beef exporters to fulfil future generations of consumers in China.”

Fresh food is now one of the fastest growing categories on JD’s platform, and the company now offers tens of thousands of fresh products from over 2,000 global partners. Every day, tens of millions of consumers around China do their grocery shopping on JD.com rather than in a brick-and-mortar store, and get their purchases delivered to their doorsteps.

To make this possible, JD runs China’s largest cold chain logistics network – the only one in the world that is operated in-house by a large-scale e-commerce company, down to the last mile. In fact, JD’s logistics technology is so advanced that consumers can monitor the location, and even the temperature, of their fresh food deliveries in real time via the JD mobile app.

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