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By Alison Donnellan 13 January 2021 5 min read

To boost the value of Australia’s exports and build on our brand, we need to validate the quality, safety and provenance of our products. Using the red meat sector as a use case, CSIRO is developing technologies that can validate claims about the origin of a product, its authenticity and adherence to ethical production practices, as well as enhancing privacy and efficiency for producers​.

Advancing Supply Chain Integrity

With Aaron Ingham, Research Scientist and Group Leader, CSIRO Agriculture & Food and Ryan McAllister, Leader, Trusted Agrifood Exports, CSIRO

Beef exports are valued at more than $10 billion per year, so it is important that Australia delivers a premium, safe and healthy product to the world to maintain this market share. Australian producers are renowned for very high standards of animal health and welfare, and environmental stewardship. However, in a fragmented and complex supply chain this message is easily lost.

Demonstrating Automated Farm Provenance

With Phil Valencia, Team Leader, Embedded Intelligence, CSIRO Data61

Export value built on Australia’s brand will need data to validate the safety, production and origin of our products. But how can we trust the data and ensure it can’t be modified? And how can we fulfil government requirements without being overwhelmed by regulatory burden? Provenance, Trust and Automated Compliance are proposed and demonstrated as technologies towards achieving this.

Advances in the use of biological origins to verify authenticity

With Team Leader of CSIRO's Proximal Sensing Group within Agriculture and Food, Group Leader of CSIRO's Sustainability and Welfare Group within Agriculture and Food Dr Sonja Dominik, and Senior Principal Research Scientist at CSIRO's Data61 Dr David Smith.

Tag-less verification of provenance and identification of product is possible through unique signatures, biogeochemical, isotopic, lipidomic and genomic. In an Australian context, we show two levels of granularity – biogeochemical and isotopic signatures enabling verification to a region and even to the property of origin; and genomic signatures enabling unique identification of individual animals.

In addition, we demonstrate privacy-preserving signature reporting for the accurate prediction of regional product provenance while providing confidentiality to primary producers.

Maintaining visibility of products moving through the supply chain and detecting fraud in an affordable way

Dr Sara Khalifa and Dr Peter Baumgartner, both from CSIRO's Data61

Here, Data61 engineers explain their data-driven approach to tracking and anomaly detection in a boxed meat transport chain, focusing on collecting data from energy-harvesting sensors and analysing them with machine learning and rule-based methods.

Automated tracking of individual cuts of meat back to the source animal

With Dr Dadong Wang, Principal Research Scientist & the leader of the CSIRO Quantitative Imaging Research Team

How can we automatically track individual prime cuts of meat in the deboning room of an abattoir using AI based video analysis? We will present our methods and some initial results to address this problem.

Ensuring data and devices on the farm are protected and trusted

With Dr Dongxi Liu, Principal Research Scientist at CSIRO's Data61

Here, Dr Dongxi Liu introduces the EnerID blockchain, which is accessible for everyone (individuals or agencies) to record any big or small information without cost. EnerID can process messages in different efficiency modes and has been patented by CSIRO.  In addition, two lightweight encryption schemes are introduced, one of which can generate very short ciphertexts for short messages.

High-resolution herd dynamics tracking for social and welfare metrics

With Dr Wei Ni, Principal Research Scientist at CSIRO's Data61

Here Dr Wei Nei reports on recent on-farm trials where our refined GPS devices recorded and analysed in real-time the herd dynamics of multiple sheep flocks. Machine learning techniques are designed to identify the leaders of the herds and understand the stability of the herds and the social needs of individual animals.

Video-based identification and classification of cattle behaviours

With Dr Chuong Nguyen, Senior Research Scientist at CSIRO's Data61

A data annotation and classification pipeline to recognise individual cows and their behaviour (drinking, grazing and other) from on-farm videos. Annotations and/or classifications from videos are used as ground truth to label other synchronised sensor streams (from the embedded system of the ear tags) to train machine learning algorithms relying only on sensor streams to recognise cattle behaviour.

Simulation of distributed sensor networks on farms

With Mr Karl Von Richter, Technical Lead Embedded Engineer at CSIRO's Data61

We present a Multi-Agent Systems Simulator engine for simulating large scale distributed IoT networks of animals with smart ear tags on smart farms and pushing synthetic data through the demonstrator. Simulation of the animals and the smart devices they interact with allows us to test our technologies without physical subjecting animals to unethical conditions or needing to deploy devices on the farm.

Expert Panel Session - Rethinking blockchain, hype or need?

With BeefLedger Director Charles Morris-Turner, and Dr Volkan Dedeoglu and Dr Sherry Xu from CSIRO's Data61

Expert Panel Session - Industry talks

With Director of Rennylea Pastoral Company P.L Lucinda Corrigan, Group Leader of Sustainability and Welfare at CSIRO Sonja Dominik, Manager of Market Access Science and Technology at Meat and Livestock Australia Ian Jenson, and Business Development and Commercialisation Manager at CSIRO's Data61 Skye Richmond

In a 2020 report, Australia's Meat and Livestock Association analysed various product integrity systems in the red meat industry, finding that industry interest in investing in enhanced supply chain integrity systems was at odds with that of researchers and technology and service providers.

Here, Director of Rennylea Pastoral Company P.L Lucinda Corrigan, Group Leader of Sustainability and Welfare at CSIRO Sonja Dominik, Manager of Market Access Science and Technology at Meat and Livestock Australia Ian Jenson, and Business Development and Commercialisation Manager at CSIRO's Data61 Skye Richmond discuss.

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