New guardians of sensitive farm data

Keeping tabs on all that sensitive farm data

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Farmers are asked to regularly share private farm information.

Farmers are asked to regularly share private farm information.

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Farmers are sharing terabytes of highly confidential information about what they do.

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Farmers are sharing terabytes of highly confidential information about what they do.

It is no secret the constant calls to fill in farm surveys and the like are annoying, and for many, worrying.

The demands of traceability are only going to become greater as consumers demand more information about the products they eat or wear.

For instance, only this week they heard big global clothing brands have signalled the end of their support for mulesed wool.

Apps are being rolled out to give producers feedback on intramuscular fat, lean meat yield and animal health.

Government and industry groups want to share all this sensitive farm information which many fear will end up in the wrong hands.

Former Trade Minister Andrew Robb has this week been appointed head of a newly formed Australian AgriFood Data Exchange.

This exchange aims to allow all this information to be safely shared and down the whole supply chain.

Mr Robb called the exchange a nation building project.

This exchange is designed to act as a "trusted and secure interconnected data highway" for the exchange of vital information between organisations and systems within the agriculture and agribusiness supply chain.

A consortium of leading agrifood groups including government, industry and research bodies have been working on this new group which received $4 million in startup funding from the Federal, NSW, Western Australian and Victorian governments, Meat & Livestock Australia, Charles Sturt University, the Food and Agribusiness Growth Centre, Fisheries Research Development Corporation, CSIRO and Australian Wool Innovation.

AWI is investing in blockchain technology to enable consumers to trace their garment's wool back to an Australian farm.

It is a long-held dream by Australian woolgrowers of being able to easily follow their clip through the production chain to final product.

By sharing their information, the same will happen in reverse.

Andrew Robb.

Andrew Robb.

The Australian AgriFood Data Exchange wants to create a digital platform that enables:

  • The permissioned exchange of data between AgriFood industry participants
  • Timely access to information that supports decision making for the AgriFood value chain
  • Release management capacity
  • Standardisation and consistency of industry data assets
  • The capacity to adapt, incorporating new use cases for data exchange that deliver value and support resilience of AgriFood value chain participants
  • Increased transparency of AgriFood industry data to support multiple use cases (e.g. regulatory compliance, collaboration between public & private data sets)

Initiated by Integrity Systems Company and KPMG, with Andrew Robb as the independent chairman, the exchange is also supported by Cotton Research Development Corporation, AgriFutures, Australian Eggs, Elders Rural, Federation University, Grower Group Alliance, Australian Plant Phenomics Facility and the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation.

"Market access for our products depends on trusted supply chains and trusted compliance and quality assurance data accompanying the products," Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said.

KPMG serves as the project managers.

Mr Robb said data was the lifeblood of any industry.

"The exchange is a nation building project that will support the growth and resilience of the Australian agrifood industry by building a secure and trusted framework for data to be shared across the sector," he said.

"This will create transformational opportunities to innovate and supercharge Australian agriculture."

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The story New guardians of sensitive farm data first appeared on Farm Online.

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