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Tech Event looks at ‘now’ technology for PMA A-NZ

Tuesday, 11 July 2017
PMA A-NZ Media Release

PMA Australia New Zealand members and others from throughout the fresh produce supply chain recently voted with their feet – we are interested in new technology that’s ready to switch on and we’ll attend an event that showcases what’s happening. Over 60 attended the first PMA A-NZ TECH EVENT, held at Melbourne Market, Epping, in early July.

Participants were treated to four presentations that started high and wide and narrowed down to a single application. First off was IBM Blockchain Practice Lead Paul Sidhu who described the much-hyped blockchain technology with the aid of case studies from the food sector, particularly the Walmart trials with mangoes and pork. Paul demonstrated how blockchain is changing our approach to the transparency of business transactions as well as food safety and traceability.

Next was Microsoft development partner Chris Motton from Advance Computing. Chris and his team have developed a number of leading programs on the Microsoft platform including water trading, fruit fly management and a production to processing program that saves tomato processor Kagome around 450 phone calls a day during the peak of harvest and has a ROI of over 500%. Driven by the need to find ‘a better way’, Advance finds that technology empowers employees, streamlines processes and engages customers.

Hugh Reardon from Dicky Bill Farming and tech start-up Apunga had everyone’s attention with his views on how to link farmers to consumers the Dicky Bill way, demonstrating how they have brought consumers ‘back to the farm experience’ through clever technology. Hugh also has a keen eye for smart phone apps and gave attendees his roundup of what’s hot and helpful and should be on everyone’s mobile device.

Finally, Astrid Ottenhof from salad, leek and celery grower Schreurs and Sons answered the question “What were they thinking?” in reference to the Schreurs decision to be an early adopter of arguably the first significant new entrant in sanitising technology for many years – Electrolysed Oxidising Water (EOW). Astrid left the audience in no doubt that product safety and quality have been enhanced by their investment.

The Tech Event was preceded with an informative market tour hosted by MMA’s Matt Elliott which set the scene for the event that followed. PMA A-NZ appreciated the efforts of the excellent speakers and the hosting by MMA.

Presentations 

New Sanitising Technologies - Without Chemical by Dr. Marie‐Astrid Ottenhof Technical Director, Schreurs& Sons

Agribusiness solutions using Microsoft technologies by Chris Motton, Services & Sales Director, Advance Computing

Best Farm Apps Presentation by  Hugh Reardon, Dicky Bill and Apunga

Enhancing Food Integrity with Blockchain by Paul Sidhu, IBM Australia

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