What is your startup and what problem is it solving for the agriculture industry?
Australia has a clean/green/safe reputation, and to the majority of countries we export to, of which 66% are Asian markets (Austrade), country of origin matters. So many Aussie producers are putting out great product, and without the ability to share their story their products become commoditised – because so many goods miss out on opportunities to “brand” their product.
We also pair that provenance with traceability using blockchain technologies – because in many of these markets counterfeiting and fakery is a problem. So in one sentence; we build Aussie brands overseas, provide their provenance as beautiful content, and provide authenticity to strengthen brand equity – focusing on exports primarily to Asia.
Tell us more about your enterprise and what inspired this idea?
While I was in medical school I started a high-volume packaging for agriculture business – so I had first hand experience in the pain points for producers in the sector. I was awarded a government grant working on cross-border innovation initiatives and was being mentored by my co-founder Ben Lyons, who was the CEO at Food Leaders Australia and spent nearly two decades in China. We discussed difficulties in doing international trade and found we could apply emerging technologies to offer solutions for terms of trade, traceability, etc. for producers who exported.
We did the first commercial fresh produce export (avocados) from WA through to Melbourne, then air-freighted to Singapore. We also debuted the first on fruit to blockchain traceable labelling, now serving greater than 20% of Australian avocado producers. We are interested in providing common-sense ways for Aussie brands to stand out and make their offering enticing to Asian consumers – and not get buried in the sea of international competitors when exporting.
We also open up new advertising revenue streams for producers that they would previously not have been able to access.
What hurdles have you faced and conquered on your startup journey so far?
Two things – one general and one specific. Firstly, making sure that we were delivering a high level of value to our customers, because understanding client needs, express what you can do for them and then execute from the bottom up is at the core of our business. It is very easy to “talk at people” with tech speak, and that’s exactly what clients in the ag sector dislike – it’s all about credibility and being relatable.
Secondly, disentangling ourselves from the negative hype of blockchain with bitcoin, coin offerings, etc. was something that we have worked to do – we do real work that provides real value for our clients. Again it’s all about credibility and being relatable.
How can interested clients, farmers, or investors contact you?
If producers of great Aussie products are exporting and would like to protect and grow their brands overseas – they can contact me David Inderias, the CEO at firstname.lastname@example.org or +61 498 357 016. Investors can contact us through the same details.