Entrusting Clare Valley to the world

A Clare Valley-born idea to protect the security of Australian-grown and made produce has come to fruition, with the country’s first ‘end-to-end’ immutable primary industries beta data service officially launched at Auburn on Sunday.

Entrust, unveiled by South Australian Premier Steven Marshall, will allow primary producers to capture and map the movement of produce from paddock to consumer, reduce costs and the potential for fraud.

It works by combining geolocation, timestamping and immutably recording production and supply chain events via a secure distributed ledger.

Hand-in-hand, the same innovators behind Entrust have also developed the Enseal prototype, a new, patented technology digital screwcap that will protect wine authenticity in the bottle.

The tech start-up was the brainchild of Clare Valley winemaker Jeff Grosset and grapegrower David Travers, who won The Premier’s Blockchain Challenge and $50,000 prize money in March 2019 to develop their idea.

The pair used the seed funding to win a further $150,000 from the Minister for Industry, Science and Technology through the Australian Government’s Accelerating Commercialising pool in early 2020.

Entrust’s beta version follows a successful alpha trial in the Clare Valley during the 2020 vintage.

However, while the initial program was trialled on wine in the Clare Valley, there is also promise of a major dairy industry trial and an international tea and coffee provenance pilot.

Mr Travers, a fifth-generation sheep and wheat farmer, said the extension of Entrust beyond wine was an important beta goal.

“Australian farmers are among the most efficient primary producers on the planet,” he said.

“In a post-COVID-19 environment, the critical infrastructure for Australian primary producers will be universal multi-commodity digital assets, like large datasets, real time analytics, supply chain visibility and distributed payment and financing systems.

“The dairy industry has many similar challenges to the wine industry: complex and opaque supply chains, lengthy (and risky) payment terms, questionable value-added services, poor customer engagement, weak direct to consumer capacity and a lack of a simple whole-of-industry approach to technology standardisation.”

Mr Grosset, a renowned Clare Valley winemaker, said there were three reasons why he believed Entrust would succeed.

“First, we have built the platform from scratch, incorporating the very latest technology for this purpose,” he said.

“Second, we have developed Enseal, a digital screwcap. This unique patented technology, attaches the digital to the physical, allowing confirmation of both the product’s authenticity and the seal’s integrity – that it hasn’t been opened or tampered with.

“Third, digitisation of the wine industry is overdue. In a post-COVID world, moving to paperless export and remote auditing by Wine Australia to ensure label integrity laws are adhered to, are now highest priorities.”

Launching the product on Sunday, Premier Steven Marshall said the new technology built on South Australia’s reputation as a world leader in both agriculture and viticulture.

“This is the perfect coming together of a growing problem that exists in terms of label integrity and fraud in foreign markets and this wonderful application and this new technology,” he said.

“Within 18 months we’ve gone from an idea to hopefully very soon, the paperless export of wine from Clare to the UK market.

“I think this is something that will get global attention, I’m sure it already has global attention, but it really demonstrates this perfect link between technology and something we’ve been doing very successfully in this state for a long period of time.”

Entrust’s basic model was made available free to all Australian wine producers on Monday.