At the invitation of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (UN FAO), BeefLedger founder and chairman Warwick Powell delivered a keynote presentation at the Revitalising Agriculture Forum in Hangzhou on 1 December 2019.

There, he introduced the idea of the “5 Commons”, when reflecting on the experiences in developing the BeefLedger blockchain supply chain ecosystem and platform.

Warwick Powell delivers a keynote presentation to 400 delegates in Hangzhou

In his presentation, Warwick provided an update on the BeefLedger blockchain project, and introduced the underlying design principles that guide our approach to common data ecosystem design and implementation.

Warwick updates delegates on the role of blockchain technology in improved regional and rural economy outcomes

The “5 commons”

Warwick emphasised the “5 commons” in relation to data ecosystems:

  1. Common collection;
  2. Common production;
  3. Common validation;
  4. Common storage; and
  5. Common dissemination / use.

In all of these activities, all actors in the supply chain depend on a shared basis of dependable information upon which they can each go about their business and interactions with others with confidence.

There is, thus, a shared interest and responsibility in the processes by which information is gathered, validated and utilised. Overcoming problems of information asymmetry is central to the next iteration of sustainable and responsible supply chains.

Data integrity is a utility service that is the responsibility of all

Common data ecosystems that involve all supply chain participants are needed, he said, to overcome the risks of information asymmetry and – in a worse case scenario – upstream data cartels from forming to the disadvantage of downstream consumers; and indeed, upstream participants being misled by the withholding of information from downstream actors.

A (food) supply chain’s social and economic mission is to deliver to consumers safe food that they can eat without worry. For BeefLedger, supply chain data systems that do not include consumers within the processes of data collection, production, validation, storage and use are by design open to cartel-like abuse. This is a risk that we are willing to tackle head-on, and are addressing explicitly in our underlying architecture.

Integrated with E-commerce Platforms

Warwick also updated conference delegates on BeefLedger’s recent joint venture initiative with Beijing-based social e-commerce platform developer LibertyPost.

Contemporary retailing rests in the palm of the hand

The integration pulls together the strengths of:

  1. A rapidly growing social e-commerce community;
  2. Blockchain technology enabled credentialing; and
  3. Real supply chain capacity and in-country distribution and storage infrastructure.

The joint venture – LibertyPost&Co – is based in Australia and aims to provide Australian and New Zealand regional producers, manufacturers and brand owners with a direct, credentialed pathway to a rapidly growing, discerning China marketplace.

Panel Discussion

Warwick also joined other industry and government leaders on a panel discussion, which focused on the interaction between supply chain integrity and the future of supply chain risk management and finance.

An industry-government panel discusses supply chain data, finance and risk

Warwick discussed how improved common data systems, like those described in his presentation, could drive new financial products that “get capital all the way to those on the ground”.