A year ago, we landed the first ever blockchain-credentialed shipment of Australian beef to China as a “proof of concept” initiative as part of our Export Smart Contracts project being developed in collaboration with QUT and Food Agility CRC.

As we head into 2020, it’s worth reflecting briefly on our journey over the last 12 months. Here are some highlights …

January – the highlight was without a doubt the first of the showcase dinners, where guests from government, industry and the community at large were introduced to prime Australian beef (from Limestone Coast’s Blue Lake Station), credentialed on blockchain technology.

Shanghai Showcase Dinner: First Ever Australian Beef Exports to China Credentialed with Blockchain Technology being explained to participants

We also took the opportunity to meet up with GOKE (an agritech firm in Beijing), NCMC in Shanghai and the Changshu Culinary Association.

Here we are with the GOKE Team in Beijing.

February – we reinforced our working relationship with the Limestone Coast when we visited Blue Lake Station as well as regional wine producers from the Coonawarra.

We’ve been developing our Export Smart Contracts project in collaboration with Food Agility CRC and QUT.

March – with the support and encouragement of Austrade, we signed off an agreement with Shanghai-based blockchain developer LinkeyChain. This strategic agreement positions BeefLedger to enable us to collaboratively bridge cross-border technical and compliance issues going forward.

Signing Ceremony: Shanghai – between BeefLedger and LinkeyChain.


Huizhou Culinary and Cultural Exchange on behalf of Advance Rockhampton. We partnered up with Chef Outta Water Associates to deliver this multi-product experience event.

April – We continued to consolidate our relationship with Beijing-based social ecommerce platform LibertyPost. (We have since taken this strategic alliance to the next level with the formation of Australia-based LibertyPost&Co – which delivers a pathway to the China market for Australian and New Zealand producers of excellence.)

Directly accessing a rapidly growing consumer cohort was behind our decision to work with LibertyPost, an exciting platform being developed and driven forward by Katherina Li.

May – China partnership Development and consolidation was the order the month. So, we returned to Beijing to join the LibertyPost Summer Range product launch and caught up with Tom Morris at LaoWines in Shanghai. Wine and beef are a great match, and Tom’s been a pleasure to work with. Charles Turner-Morris also participated in a trade forum organised by the Australia China Business Council, as further recognition of our industry leadership role in fostering understanding of the application of blockchain technologies to smoothing cross-border business.

Joining a panel of industry experts at LibertyPost’s Summer Products Launch Event.

June – We began to really pull threads together in June, as we hosted visitors from the Changshu Culinary Association in Mt Gambier, on the Limestone Coast. The visit was made possible by the work of our collaborators at Chef Outta Water Associates who’ve signed a collaborative MOU with the Culinary Association.

It takes a village, so they say …. here we are celebrating with the Mt Gambier community. The community played host to visitors from the Changshu Culinary Association and Chef Outta Water Associates.


With friends from Chef Outta Water Associations, we hosted visitors from the Changshu Culinary Association through the Limestone Coast. We spent time with students from Mount Gambier High, as we progressed our community engagement and digital capacity building initiative, BeefLegends.

July – Amongst other things, we focused on our contributions to knowledge sharing and research this month with speaking engagements at the inaugural Supply Chain Blockchain Conference in Brisbane as well as introducing our BeefLegends project to our collaborators in Beijing. BeefLedger’s Charles Morris was also a panellist at the Supply Chain Digitalisation Forum organised by our friends at IncoDocs in Brisbane.

Jock McQueenie, Katherina Li and Warwick Powell discuss the emerging consumer-created media landscape in China’s retail market place, and how value-adding is coming in many shapes and forms. Jock’s the BeefLegends leader, who is also completing his doctoral research at QUT.

August – Continuing the “knowledge sharing” theme, BeefLedger updated the research community at the Food Agility showcase event at Queensland University of Technology. We also got to catch up with other interesting projects being developed within the CRC.

A blockchain project is a multi-disciplinary endeavour. BeefLedger exemplifies this diversity in its team, which includes software developers, industry analysts and economists, legal professionals, and creative industries specialists.

September – a big month of technology development and community engagement. We began filming the ABC Landline program in Mt Gambier, which culminated in final filming in Beijing in November.

Producing 12 minutes of high quality TV takes a lot of effort … we filmed for about 6 days all up in 3 locations across 2 continents.

October – More Landline filming plus site inspections in preparation for our end of year Showcase Program in China. We also featured on CGTV, China’s global English language news service. BeefLedger director Charles Morris was a special guest at the Australian Organic industry development seminar in Brisbane, where he shared some thoughts on provenance value and the role of technology.

Our post-doctoral research fellow, Dr Val Natanelov featured in a CGTV program on BeefLedger. This reached hundreds of thousands of viewers across China and Asia.


After an exhausting day of filming the crew and team took a chance to relax.


Filming ABC’s Landline Story in Beijing: here’s Warwick Powell (R) with LibertyPost CEO Katherina Li.

November – this was a huge month with a heater-skelter Showcase Program through 4 cities in China ourselves, with another 2 cities supported by our collaborators at Chef Outta Water Associations. We formally announced the formation of LibertyPost&Co., a joint venture with LibertyPost to deliver cross-border trade and market access for Australian and New Zealand businesses. This builds on the foundations established by our signature BeefLedger project.

Having Australia’s Steak Maestro Chris Wade as part of our end of year Showcase Program in China was a treat for everyone involved. That’s Chris on the right, speaking about his creations at the Shanghai Showcase Dinner.


Contemporary retailing rests in the palm of the hand – this is the LibertyPost social e-commerce platform that enables direct access to consumers in China for Australian and NZ exporters.

We enjoyed the support and collaboration with Australian and Chinese partners, many of whom have been acknowledged over the months on our various social media postings. We won’t thank them again for fear of missing anyone out!

December – we wrapped up the year with some further knowledge sharing through participation in the inaugural Belt and Road Initiative and Revitalisation of Agriculture Forum in Hangzhou, and the 4th Distributed Ledger Technologies Conference at Griffith University in Brisbane.

Data integrity is a utility service that is the responsibility of all – this was the core message from Warwick Powell at the Hangzhou Conference

BeefLedger Chairman Warwick Powell was a keynote speaker at the Conference, at the invitation of the United Nations FAO, a key event sponsor. In his talk, he emphasised the importance of data integrity as a public utility service and introduced the idea of the “5 commons”.

Cross-border opportunities and challenges will frame the next round of issues that require systemic collaboration to resolve: Warwick Powell at the Distributed Ledger Technologies Conference, Griffith University.

Our post-doctoral research fellow Dr Valeri Natanalov also presented at the Griffith University Conference touching on issues associated with digital twins and what can be learned from IOT and blockchain collaborations. We have some academic journal articles in the pipeline, presenting being reviewed by various journals.

Dr Val Natanelov at the Distributed Ledger Symposium, Griffith University (10 December 2019).

Conclusions – it was a big year, no doubt about it. We made significant progress with industry engagement and education, in both the production side of the supply chain as well as in China with buyers and regulators. Our technological development pathway is also well progressed, with core DLT capabilities operational on our Proof of Authority Network. We continue to evolve our design thinking as market and institutional circumstances evolve, and we look forward to taking this work forward into 2020 as we tackle cross-border data and transactions challenges and opportunities.

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