SunRice, one of the largest rice food companies in the world, has long had an integrated, global supply chain but wanted to explore the potential benefits of blockchain to further articulate and promote sustainability and trust across a global supply chain.
KPMG Origins, a distributed ledger platform, demonstrated how the company could enhance communication across their global network and allow their customers to connect with their product, from farm to plate.
SunRice is one of the world’s major rice food businesses, with branded products being exported into approximately 50 markets worldwide. They have a well-established international supply chain to support Australian rice production in times of drought. As SunRice continues to grow, source and sell in more countries, the need for greater communication with their stakeholders that promotes trust becomes more important.
The SunRice brand is a clear commitment to the consumer and the company has always been determined to fulfil its promise of premium quality. The company has always kept stringent control of its supply chain, underpinned by a long held commitment to sustainability and quality of their products – but it was interested to uncover how a distribute ledger technology could assist.
The organisation first called upon KPMG Australia to help with their sustainability strategy. One of the key question that came up was how SunRice can enhance communication across their global network and continue to allow their customers to connect with the heart of their products and how it was made. That’s when we started to explore further opportunities that a distributed ledger like KPMG Origins could bring.
SunRice wanted to ensure that they could clearly demonstrate to their customers and stakeholders that when sourcing rice from other countries, they would still enjoy an equivalent product, not only with respect to taste and quality but also environmental performance and ethical treatment of its labour force. They also wanted to ensure complete traceability of its products for the consumer, investors and governments alike as companies in the agribusiness sector are increasingly scrutinised on not just where their products come from but how they are made.
SunRice had already been exploring how distributed ledger technologies could help report on provenance in its supply chain. When the organisation saw the maturity of KPMG Origins, and its ability to demonstrate critical data as proof-points across the entire product journey, they chose to run a pilot program.
With KPMG Origins everyone who engages with SunRice’s supply-chain, receives value. It allows data to be shared instantly with multiple parties on a secure platform that is immutable, bringing together disparate pieces of information gathered from a multitude of data sources, including farm-based geographic information systems and is capable to receive data from technologies such as IoT and drones. The information is shared in a seamless, unified way and in real time.
Additionally an interactive mobile app was tailored to varied demographics and behavioural profiles of consumers across different geographies, allowing SunRice to showcase engaging information for each market segment.
Head of Sustainability, SunRice
One of the primary challenges was the variability of digital maturity in the SunRice supply chain. Farmers, milling factories and operations centres interact with technology in different ways, with some even adopting manual processes; collating accurate and reliable data points from each participant is a critical success factor moving forward.
The pilot enabled SunRice to trace a packet of long grain rice, visualise its business end-to-end and in the process, inform its enterprise data strategy. KPMG Origins also provided SunRice a useful frame of reference for the effective roll-out of its group sustainability strategy.
Implementing and testing emerging technology is always an ambitious exercise, particularly across a complex supply-chain. The KPMG team brought together SunRice’s key business and technology stakeholders through highly collaborative workshops to challenge incumbent thinking and re-imagine a future state for the business that was anchored in reliable, sustainable and ethical sourcing.
The pilot program was an exciting win/win for SunRice and KPMG. It allowed KPMG teams to define new opportunities for our human rights, social impact and sustainability advisory capabilities, leveraging the KPMG Origins platform. For SunRice, it allowed the business to validate hypotheses that an open and transparent supply-chain would help retain and strengthen consumer trust in its brands and products.
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Partner, KPMG Banarra
Human Rights & Social Impact Services