BeefLedger: 2020 Good Design Awards Winner

QUT and BeefLedger have recently won two prestigious national awards for outstanding design and innovation in the 2020 Good Design Awards.

Good Design Australia is an international design promotion organisation responsible for managing Australia’s annual Good Design Awards and other signature design events. With a proud history that dates back to 1958, Good Design Australia remains committed to promoting the importance of design to business, industry, government and the general public and the critical role it plays in creating a better, safer and more prosperous world.

BeefLedger received accolades in the commercial services category in recognition of outstanding design and innovation in streamlining transactions in the beef supply chain. The group also won a second accolade for BeefLegends, a design strategy to connect Australian producers and Chinese consumers by engaging individuals, social influencers, group buyers and distribution networks with digital content.

The Good Design Awards Jury commented that: “BeefLegends embodies positive innovation connecting two ends of the supply chain for mutual benefit for the first time. It’s exciting to see a truly transdisciplinary approach bringing together technical expertise in blockchain and smart contract development; legal expertise in international trade, policy and governance, and humanities expertise in food provenance and consumer culture.”

To learn more about QUT & BeefLedger’s achievements, read the QUT Media release here:

Award 1: Service Design – Commercial Services

Entry Introduction
Food fraud is a A$40 billion-a-year problem globally. In response, BeefLedger is a blockchain technology-enabled beef provenance tracking and credentialing platform. It employs export smart contracts to streamline cross-border payments. The platform strengthens consumer confidence and protects Australia as a premium producer of safe, high quality produce.

Design Challenge
Credentialing a product to give beef buyers, whether wholesale or retail, domestic or overseas, the confidence they get what they paid for was the challenge; and to achieve this at high volume / low cost. Our technology suite removes doubt, which in turn strengthens the price and demand for the credentialed product. Additional challenges on the pathway to a solution required us to achieve an artful integration of business acumen (trade relationships between producers in Australia and consumers in China), high-tech technology (AgTech, blockchain, Internet of Things), and academic excellence (transdisciplinary expertise in design, international trade law, and behavioural economics).

Design Solution
The design comprises an agile, state-of-the-art blockchain based food credentialing platform and an innovative commercial service. (a) The technology component uses RFID scanning to securely register data assets directly on the Blockchain. Export smart contracts are used to streamline cross-border payments and digitise the quality assurance checks along the supply chain. (b) The commercial service employs this platform to give Australian food producers – for the first time – direct export access into China whilst maintaining their brand identity. The design challenge called for an evolving and socially engaging solution, which this multi-dimensional industry-led research collaboration between QUT and BeefLedger delivered.

Design Impact

  • Commercial: BeefLedger improves the nancial viability of beef producers. Blockchain credentialing and mechanism design are combined to reduce food fraud and restore consumer trust. Export smart contracts level the risk profile offering Australian farmers a better market position.
  • Social: BeefLedger secures the prosperity of Australian beef producers. It also opens new career pathways for people in regional Australia, creating demand for new professions, e.g. IoT, data science, creative producers of food provenance.
  • Environmental: Behind country of origin, Chinese consumers are most concerned about animal welfare. BeefLedger credentials ecological impact data incentivising efforts to improve animal welfare and reduce carbon footprints.

Award 2: Design Strategy

Entry Introduction
Beefledger is an integrated blockchain-enabled food provenance and smart contract transaction platform. BeefLegends is its design led consumer engagement strategy. BeefLegends combats food fraud by embedding authentic regional stories in the data that credentials Australian beef exported to China. It connects two ends of the supply chain for mutual benefit.

Design Challenge
BeefLedger’s overarching challenge is to address food fraud in China. It does this by means of distributed ledger technology whose data tracks the product from paddock to plate. BeefLegends’ design challenge was to 1) communicate BeefLedger and engage communities of production; 2) add value to BeefLedger’s unique data narrative; 3) co-design creative content in various forms that connects the two ends of the supply chain for mutual benefit. BeefLegends enhances the data narratives with human centred ones generated and co-designed by local communities of production across regional Australia in an educational context and accessible via next generation Laava QR codes.

Design Solution
BeefLegends is a design strategy tailored to the accelerating complexity of Chinese consumer culture. As consumer driven content becomes more disintermediated, individualised, instant, and ubiquitous, BeefLegends addresses the risk that conventional marketing strategies employed by Australian industries in China are becoming less t for purpose and less effective in promoting Australian products. BeefLegend’s design strategy engages young people in regional communities with social influencers in China developing creative video content on Douyin (China’s TikTok), and other social media platforms. Thus, BeefLedgends creates a content loop that has benets for both ends of the supply chain turning consumers into creative ‘prosumers.’

Design Impact
As a component of a larger R&D partnership, BeefLegends engages local governments, farmers, producers and local school students at the Australian end: a “whole of community” approach. At the Chinese end it engages individuals, social influencers and group buyers as well as retail distribution networks. Thus, it has designed a feedback loop whose impact is to connect individual producers and their communities directly to buyers in China. BeefLegends both mediates cross-cultural communication and disintermediates the conventions of export marketing. BeefLegends employs narrative engagement for digital prosumerisation, which transforms passive buyers of products and services into active creators of value.

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