Episode 2- Joanna White: In Food We Trust

Host Name: Paul Shaw (PS)

Guest Name: Joanna White (JW)

(Host Paul Shaw): Welcome to Meat: The Ultimate Podcast, proudly brought to you by vicsmeat.com.au. I'm Paul Shaw, the host of the show.

Conscious consumption requires one key ingredient: Knowledge. In this long-form conversational podcast series, we will take you inside the fence of the world of meat through the eyes of those who grow it, those who cut it, those who cook it and even those who are against it.

We dive deeply into topics such as health, history, science, innovation, environment and sustainability, all with a meat bent. If you want to think wisely about meat and make informed choices, Meat: The Ultimate Podcast is for you. And please, if you like this show, or have an opinion on the show, give us a rating and leave us a comment. It just helps other people to find it. Now, enjoy today's show.

(Paul Shaw) Awesome. Let's do this Jo.

(Joanna White): Sounds good.

(PS): Welcome.

(JW): Thank you.

(PS): Now this is a deadly serious conversation, some of mine. You know what, lots of them are actually serious, but some are a little bit more fun than others. But, you've been working with us at Vic’s on something that is so far-fetched for so many people, yet unbelievably exciting for us as a premium-quality meat supplier to some of the top restaurants in the country, to two of the premiere retail outlets in the country. The concept of being able to, legitimately and, without counterfeit, have consumers, customers, be able to identify meat, to not just identify but the characteristics, the nutritional quality, and things, is just unbelievable. So before we dive into all of that, I want to start with block chain. What is it? Why is this incredible platform that PwC, and you, and AJ, and the team have developed? Why is that the chosen platform? And let's start there.

(JW): Bock chain takes many forms now. There's all different types of it, all different languages you can build it on, just like when you're coding any type of software platform. What it really is is a distributed trust ledger. So at the moment, block chain is un-hackable. It came about from cryptocurrencies, and had to have a way to establish and verify digital currency. But now it's so much more than that. So they're smart contracts and basically what it is, is a form of digital world that, once it's in the block chain it can't be edited. So for our purposes, the Food Trust platform doesn't necessarily have to be built from block chain, but when you're building something on trust and you want to be able to record each of those transactions, it's by and far the best way to do it.

(PS): Why do they always talk about block chain as the trust protocol? This is where I get a little bit confused. I have this picture of a bunch of little Chinese and Taiwanese people sitting around in their offices like this, with computers and spare hardware space or storage space. And that's where all the information is going and there's just the fact that there's so many hundreds of thousands, millions, whatever the number, that's the whole reason why it's so protected. Is that just a stupidly simplistic view of actually where all the information goes?

(JW): Not stupidly simplistic, but originally it was through miners who were validating things on the block chain, or transactions on the block chain, and it was all the different nodes and that was the way that you established a transaction. Now, it's a little bit different. So you can have private block chain networks, but the actual coding and system is the same. But now it's not necessarily done through nodes who are crazy people sitting in there. We don't have miners. Depending on the type of block chain you use, there aren't miners who are sitting there mining for cryptocurrencies or things to validate the transaction.

(PS): Yeah. Because I would imagine an organization like PwC, that reputationally and sophistication-wise would never expose itself to a risk like that. So where, for instance, where will our information be stored, and why can't it be hacked, counterfeited, etc.?

(JW): We're looking at a couple of different systems. We've chosen one which is Sawtooth.

(PS): Sawtooth!

(JW): Yeah. It's called Sawtooth. Hyperledger is the language, and then on top of that, there's Sawtooth. I'm not the computer expert; if AJ was here he could give you a whole other realm onto it.

(PS): Yeah, we couldn’t have AJ here. I don’t understand half the things that dude talks about.

(JW): He's a rocket scientist.

(PS): He is a rocket scientist.

(JW): To put it simply, the Food Trust platform will be either hosted by our clients, Vic's Meat, or on the PwC network. So a block chain network, in that way, they won't, the way the transaction is recorded they’re still, it's still distributed trust. So there's various different nodes but it's not exposed. Your data is never exposed to the public or anything like that. They're private secure networks.

(PS): I understand. And where is block chain commercially at? I know that ASX, as an example, is replacing its Chess platform with block chain technology. Are there other big ones that you're aware of that have already gone down that path?

(JW): There's quite a few. Australia is not necessarily leading the way, but there's House that's been bought and sold and the whole transaction’s on block chain.

(PS): Is that a smart contract thing?

(PS): Yeah. So smart contracts, people are being paid in cryptocurrencies and things like that now. Although that's where it's evolved and probably financial transactions are at the forefront of it, given it came from cryptocurrencies. Smart contracts are being used for all different things now.

(PS): And what's your sense with the whole cryptocurrency situation? I don't know whether to believe it's the greatest bubble that ever existed, or it's just the prelude to something that actually is very intelligent, and a bit like the Dot Com boom that a bunch of these things will blow up and then eventually great technology will be replaced or we'll replace it.

(JW): Yeah, I think I'm a bit more of a believer in the latter. I think digital currency and definitely smart contracts are here to stay. Whether it's Bitcoin and Ethereum and those currencies that will actually be the ones that are here in 20 years’ time, I don't know. I don't know enough about it, but I do think that the way that that's going, is going to be the way of the future.

(PS): Interesting. And what about the concept, or the concern, that many have around the energy used with block chain? Is, again, that to do with the mining, or is that the underlying technology that would equally apply to what we're doing?

(JW): No, so that's one thing we've specifically taken into account. So when we looked at the Food Trust platform there's going to be a whole heap of transactions that are taking place, not only consumers scanning food, but also logistics along the way. You want to be able to say where your beef’s gone, that takes people scanning it on their phone to gather all that data. But the technology has come a really long way. That's one of the reasons why we chose Sawtooth, is because other versions of Hyperledger can't scale to that extent, at the moment uses too much data, too much power use. The way they've been able to develop Sawtooth, it's actually built to scale. So it's built to have millions of transactions on it within a second, because that's what we're all about, being able to have speed. I want to be able to scan a piece of meat, know that it's genuine, and get all that provenance data in a second. I don't, a 5, 10 minute lag yet. That ruins the experience.

(PS): Yeah, get it. So let's start. What's the underlying problem like? And I think the best analogy that that you guys gave me when we were out the other day, was the Penfold wine example in China where I think it was, six out of every eight bottles is actually counterfeit?

(JW): It's all anecdotal evidence and I don't want to throw…

(PS): It's not PwC-sourced!

(JW): Yeah. I don't want to throw Penfolds under the bus because it's rife in every industry, and every brand. Penfolds, unfortunately, being an iconic brand, is also an iconic, it's one of the most counterfeited things in the wine market, just because they've got such a powerful brand. Your counterfeiting can be everything from someone drilling a hole and refilling a Penfolds bottle, to a label that says “Ben Folds” written in the same type in character. Apparently in China, a premium bottle wine bottle is averaged of used 18 times once they get their hands on the bottle. That's why often at restaurants and things like that they smash the bottle, and you want to see it smashed, so that you know that it's genuine

(PS): Incredible. 18 times.

(JW): Mmm.

(PS): So let's talk about meat specifically since that's what's dear to my heart and dear to the project that we're working on. Obviously in our industry, particularly with export stuff, and I know a big target for what you're doing, but certainly here domestically also, is that, even the most educated consumer, chef, really can't tell whether a particular product is a particular brand, let alone whether it's being pasture fed, grain fed, whether the animal’s being raised on beautiful, lush grounds, or mistreated, or whatever it happens to be. How do you go about solving that problem? Talk us through, from right at the start, when the cow is actually killed, through to when the consumer consumes the meat?

(JW): Food Trust will be able to gather all that data. It really, it is though, it's whatever a brand wants to convey to its customers. We will only allow quantifiable data to go on the platform. So, if you want to talk about air quality, we'll have air quality readers on the farm that are able to capture that data, and it goes up into the block chain. So from the time a cow is born, every cow in Australia has an NLIS-type tag, which is the National Livestock Identification Service system. That tag holds a whole lot of data about breed, when it was born, when it was tagged, or things like that, that goes through and any other data you want to capture.

(PS): So what they’re fed?

(PW): Grain fed, pasture fed, if that it's on a data system, we'll be able to capture that data. And then it's taken to an abattoir and is processed, and eventually killed and then split up, whether it's into two or four, and then goes through deboning, and things like that. Along the way, going from hoof to hook, and in that processing, it's usually when it goes from hoof to hook that the data is lost. So when a cow is killed, we know all about that story. But when it's processed it comes into a batch. So it's between eight and 12, 400 cattle were slaughtered and it could be one of those 400. What we'll be able to do is take the data from an NLIS tag, you put it onto a barcode data, and then as it goes through your processing centre, depending on how, if it's in a steak, then we will be spraying or putting a solution onto that steak that is edible, invisible…

(PS): Completely non-toxic?

(JW): Completely non-toxic, naturally occurring agent. It's actually 70% of the Earth's crust, is made up of this chemical substance.

(PS): Can we talk a little bit more, because this is the part where, even having spent quite a bit of time with you guys now, I get so perplexed. The actual film, so talk someone through visually, obviously they can only hear what we're saying, but it literally is an invisible film that is sprayed onto the meat at that kill time.

(JW): Not even. It's probably best not to think of it as a film, if you think of it as, they’re micro-particles. So they are, they look like glitter when they’re oxidised and you can see them. But if you don't oxidise them you can't see them. They're made of silicon dioxide, which is, it's an anti-caking agent. If you've had grated cheese, protein powder, milk powder, anything like that today, it actually occurs in water, silicon dioxide. So that's what they're made of, they're microscale, so not nanoscale, they’re microscale which is a tiny little bit bigger, but they're not visible to the human eye, and under a microscope, what we do is, we take, well, the company we've partnered with in the US, take those micro-particles and they put it in a solution. And on either side of the bucket with the solution in it, and I'm giving a very…

(PW): Yeah, no, this is for us lay people.

(JW): Not very sophisticated! But think of it as a bucket, and they put in the particles into the bucket, and they have electronic waves on either side of that solution. And what happens, when the particles are put in that solution, they go from being non-porous to porous. So think of it like, holey cheese, except all those holes made in a uniform manner. So then the micro-particles are put on your steak and you can't see them, but when they’re put under a certain light, the light refracts back in a uniform way. So we're able to say, “Yep”, the refraction meets the particles that are meant to be on that steak.

(PS): And the data input is that, to bucket stage, where the electrodes go through the liquid?

(JW): No, so what it will be is, we call those particles a crypto-anchor.

(PS): Okay

(JW): so those particles have a unique number, and that number will connect to a hash on the block chain, and the data is held in the block chain. So the particles don't actually hold any data in it.

(PS): It comes back

(JW): It's a signal to the block chain. So we've spent most of our time on that crypto-anchor. So linking the digital world to the physical world. There's heaps of track-and-trace platforms out there that do wonderful job of the digital world. And they're able to see that, “Yep”, you know, my sunglasses were, I bought them here. Think of it like any DHL or Australia Post; you can watch your parcel go from A to B, but you're actually not sure what's inside that parcel. We've spent a lot of time connecting the physical, what's inside that parcel, to the digital

(PS): Understand. The meat gets sprayed.

(JW): Yep.

(PS): John Dee abattoir in Warwick in Queensland. What then happens? It gets…

(JW): There'll be a number of ways. It depends on where the steak’s going, but we may have…

(PS): Assume it’s coming to us in Sydney.

(JW): Yep. But is it being sold packaged, or food service or, so, let's just assume it's in John Dee, it's a packaged steak, so it's not being value-added at Vic’s, this one's going straight to wherever.

(PS): A restaurant?

(JW): Yep. We might have two or three. Those particles might not only be placed on the steak, might be placed on the packaging as well. So there's a two-factor authentication that this packaging is meant to be with this steak.

(PS): Yeah, wow.

(JW): Which just makes it even more secure. And then, so, we're it John Dee, it's been packaged, goes on, it's in a pallet and it's picked up by a logistics company. There will be overt signals that connect to a separate block chain, whether it will be a QR code, or your existing logistics system that, at the moment, you can scan and you see where it goes. So think of it as, follow the bouncy ball, and that's where you want to get as many signals as possible. You want every logistics person to scan it so that you can see exactly where it is at that point in time. Then maybe it goes to, I don't know, a wholesale centre and it sits there, you know it’s sat there for two days and then it's going to point of retail, and then a consumer will get that steak in a packet whether it's, let's think of it as, at a supermarket because that's where most packaged meat is bought. And they walk up and they can scan it under a scanner.

(PS): In-store.

(JW): In-store. It's about six months away from being able to scan it on your phone.

(PS): On your phone, just through an app.

(JW): Yeah.

(PW): And the kind of data that you envisage, other than the brand, how it was fed, where it was raised, what other kind of things are we talking about?

(JW): Whatever data that a brand owner or farmer wants to convey to consumers.

(PS): So it could be video of a cow grazing?

(JW): Yep, could be video. There's really cool technology at the moment that, this is even further along from where we are, where they actually have sensors that could be put in the cow—whether we agree with that or not—that can sense stress.

(PS): Wow.

(JW): So it may be that type of data where you put those sensors in.

(PS): Even at the time of killing?

(JW): Yeah it could be. Because these, well, not only before killing, you'll be able to see whether the animals was stressed and how it was treated, so if that's something that a brand owner wants to tell consumers, because that's something they rely upon, we're giving them a way to quantify that.

(PS): Because it actually is. When we look at it, and I know you've been talking to Rangers Valley which is one of the premium grades of beef and Wagyu in this country, and I've been to their farms and been to their feedlots and to John Dee where their animals are ultimately killed. No doubt the killing process, for even carnivores amongst us, is confronting. But the way these animals, from the time that they are on farm, to the time they go to the feedlot, and the care that they're given, in so far, is because obviously they feed them to make them heavier etc. But even what they walk around on. wood chips and the cleaning and, can all of that be captured in this technology, that story?

(JW): Yeah, 100%. It will take a bit of part of the John Dees and Rangers, and them all wanting to be a part of it as well. It's two-sided. There's things that producers don't want to tell you. They don't have to tell you. So I think eventually it'll be the type of thing, of more information. It's more appealing. What you don't know will become scary because there will be a way of telling it. Whereas now, I don't know, a lot of people don't know what an abattoir looks like. I don't know what a farm looks like. So they just assume that they're all treated really well, or all treated really badly. And so I think now it's more just getting the truth across and let consumers choose what they will.

(PS): Because there are, and we had this situation recently, we’re a bunch of zealot vegans, we're doing the rounds of Sydney and stormed into our retail store down at Pyrmont and Vic’s Meat market, “You should be ashamed of yourself”, all of these kinds of things, which typically is a high degree of ignorance because they just assume that all animals are raised and killed and treated the same way. And I think the great benefit for people like us and many of our customers, the top-end restaurants, the top-end pubs, and discerning consumers, is being able to clearly differentiate that we have a reputation that people trust. But actually being able to substantiate that, regardless of who's telling that story, whether it's Anthony, that has been around for 22 years and is an intimate part of this story, or our newest salesperson, that they can go out and literally show factually, as opposed to emotionally, the story of how our animals are raised and fed and killed and treated.

(JW): Yes exactly, that's exactly right. It's arming the consumers but also the people selling the beef with information.

(PW): Yep. What about cold chain? I mean, I know we talked about this a little bit. How does the technology understand, or how do how do we break into the technology, when cold chain is broken or when it's not?

(JW): Once again that's the IOT sensors so, it could either be a logistics company that has it, sensors inside the pallet, or we're also looking at really cool technology coming out of Japan that they've got embedded sensors in them that can sense the pathogens or molecular composition of a piece of steak at any point in time. So if that steak—I'm thinking more into the international logistics here—but, say your steaks, although it's within use-by date, it's actually sat on the tarmac in 40 degree weather in Sydney before it flew out, and your cold chain was broken, these sensors will change colour if it's not maintained under four degrees the whole time, or whatever it is.

(PS): It's quite daunting as a meat wholesaler and retailer, and one of the—if not the—best in the country, about how far even we need to raise the bar to truly adopt this and be able to virtually have an open book with all of our wholesale customers, and ultimately the people that are consuming our meat, because…

(JW): It’s scary!

(PS): There's nowhere to hide.

(JW): It is, and it’s scary, but I think that's what consumers are more and more demanding, and just like you were talking about, the zealot vegans. We've got to have something against that. I think the only power in being able to, is information.

(PS): Information is absolute.

(JW): Yeah.

(PS): It is for sure. What about on the food security side? Because the first time I heard about this technology about a year ago was the work that IBM was doing with Walmart and they talked about the case of Listeria with mangoes. How would that work? Let’s keep running with that argument. You've got a bunch of mango products throughout the United States. How does the technology work so that they can then isolate where that Listeria breakout is, so they don't have to recall all products because, I just couldn't get my head around how that would work?

(JW): Well just, at the moment, how we talked about, you lose the information from about the time an animal is killed and it's in batches or hours, and depending how big or small your abattoir is. At the moment, most retailers, depending on their supply chain, could possibly, if they found a packet of beef—I'm going to move to beef because I don't know much about mangoes.

(PS): I love it.

(JW): So say someone got sick from the steak and they can identify what steak it was, most people could follow back the supply chain to the abattoir. They might even be able to follow back to a certain day. But these places are processing between 400 and 1,200 cattle a day, often from various different farms. What our technology will be able to do, they'll be able to identify back to the actual cow. So that would mean you can identify whether it's just that cow and what happened to that cow, or…

(PS): A whole herd.

(JW): A whole herd, or was it something that actually happened in the supply chain, because you’ll be able to see, “Oh you know, it turns out that yes, the cold chain was broken here.” Yes. And things like that. So is just being able to serialise things back to a really minute detail compared to, at the moment, with a recall on any type of food, they're like, “All beef from the UK must be not eaten”, because they don’t know what it is.

(PS): And this is the problem, isn’t it? And this is the other thing that I really love about it, it's great for us as a wholesaler and a retailer, it's great for the supplier, and it's great for the consumer, there’s value the whole way along. The only person that it's not going to be beneficial to are the people that have got something to hide. And I would argue that many of our countries, and most countries, big supermarkets, probably have a lot of data that they don't necessarily want consumers to know about, fruit and veg that's been frozen for months, if not years, and things. Will this technology be able to tell consumers—assuming that you either adopt that ultimately or people will brand you as a fraud—will it actually mitigate that risk for consumers?

(JW): That's what we're hoping. And it really does depend if they get on board or not, if they choose.

(PS): But they'll have to, Jo. It will literally be that, that's the way I see it.

(JW): That's the way we see it. But I don't want to talk for…

(PS): Coles and Woolies, ALDI.

(JW): Yeah. I don't know. I think that if I had all the information on one product and not versus another…

(PS): You're going to consume it, aren’t you?

(JW): I’m going to consume the one I know all about, even at price point. And I think most consumers now are willing to pay more for something that they know the nutrients of, they know where it is come from.

(PS): Peace of mind.

(JW): Know all those things.

(PS): Husbandry, and all those. Let's talk about the business side of it from a PwC perspective. Is it proprietary technology that you've developed?

(JW): Yes. So we have the licensing rights to the tagging technology and then we've developed the digital technology, block chain technology on top of that.

(PS): And where do you see the investment being made? Is it the suppliers? Is it wholesalers and retailers like us? Is it venues, restaurants etc., all of us?

(JW): Investment, do you mean, into, who’s paying?

(PS): Who's paying for it.

(JW): I think who's paying for it are the people that really will get value from it. And that is the brand donors. So beef's an interesting one because I know Rangers Valley, I know Cape Grim, I know certain brand owners, but you don't know much information about that brand. So it's actually hard to market a beef brand. So I really think it's people that want to own the brand or own the retail, whether it's a retailer that wants to have an in-store, differentiated in-store experience. They may mandate it down their supply chain, or be able to input it in their supply chain to deliver that information to consumers. But, I think, you're only really going to be able to charge for it where people get value from it. And I think the value from it is that the retailer and also the brand-owner level.

(PS): Yeah. What I imagine, it's a scale thing, but how affordable is it at this point in time?

(JW): It's really affordable at this point in time. We want the platform to be able to become ubiquitous and become the industry standard. So it's not going to be priced out of this world. I can't give specific pricing, but it's a cents per packaged type thing.

(PS): Yeah wow. And for you guys is it a licensing thing or? Yep? That’s how it will work?

(JW): So it will be a licence to the platform and then probably a per package charge. It would depend on the client and then depend on the supply chain, but also the amount of data they want to put on, capture it and deliver. So there will be a whole lot of variables. But yeah, we want this to be something that, basically moving fresh food marketing and fresh food information to the same levels of other things that you buy and sell.

(PS): Imagine, we talked about this a lot, Anthony and I, that you are sitting in Barangaroo, at Black or at The Star, one of those really top-end restaurants where, from time to time there will be a steak that's so finely raised that they can sell it for $650 and people are lining up to buy that steak; that that consumer can literally scan that piece of meat and see a video of just how amazing that animal was and how it was treated, and all those things; it's going to be such a mind blowing experience.

(JW): I see consumers scanning a piece of meat, but I actually see it being far more like wine. You have a sommelier now and really good wine at one of those top-end restaurants who comes, they explain to me what wine goes with that, and what the grapes were like, where it was from, whether it was a good year or a dry year, or something like that. Imagine arming people in restaurants to be able to talk about beef or red meat in the same way. And whether that's through a digital experience or just giving the food service people that information that they really haven't had before.

(PS): Even on menus now—five, ten years ago you would never see brands on menus, whereas even mid-market venues, like we went yesterday. There's amazing new development at Harbord where Pilu has opened, a couple of new places, and we had lunch at Teddy Larkin's that a friend of mine has opened there, and literally everything on their menu is labelled, Rangers Valley, Jack’s Creek, whatever it happens to be, and consumers are increasingly recognising those brands. The next step, of course, is being able to prove that those brands are actually what you're eating.

(JW): Yeah and that's part of the problem, is, a bottle of wine comes to the table with a label on it. I know here, in Australia, I trust that that's a genuine bottle of wine.

(PS): Me too.

(JW): But your steak doesn't come with a label on it and it just does leave it open for things that, for people in food service that maybe aren't doing the right thing. Imagine knowing that it actually is a Jack’s Creek steak.

(PS): Yep. What about, ultimately, GPS, and inventory management, and stock integrity and things? Does this technology ultimately replace physical barcodes?

(JW): It could. I don't know whether it will. It definitely won't instantaneously, but I do think, whether it's in conjunction with barcodes, or, I think the amount of data that we’ll have and whether it comes with GPS and things like that. I think they are all steps that will come along the way, and I think the analytics that can be done on top of this platform are huge, especially when exporting. Imagine knowing your steak, where it's actually being eaten in China. At the moment it's all done, middlemen across the supply chain. Imagine knowing, “Oh, Wagyu’s selling really well here, had no idea that in Beijing they really like it, whereas in Shanghai it's not as much.” So the data that can actually captured and brought back is massive as well.

(PS): And how does that all tie together, like that whole consolidation of digitisation and things? I know AJ was talking to us the other day and confusing me, but, on that very point, is that additional technology, or is that just taking that data that you now have available to you, from what you've currently presented?

(JW): I think it is available. It's obviously not available to every business at the moment, but your digital footprint—whether you like it or not—is huge, and the amount of data that can be captured about you when you sign up with your social media, and you buy things online and when you're with friends. I was listening to a radio show the other day that was talking about whether they did a test on whether your mobile phone was listening to you, and only talked about cuckoo clocks near their mobile phone in the hope that they'd get ads about cuckoo clocks. Turns out, they didn't get any ads about cuckoo clocks. But when they did some, they had a journalist on there from CNET, the tech publication, and she was saying that it's not so much, it's not listening to, not what you say, but it's actually taking a lot of your geo-data. So, if you and I are friends on Instagram or Facebook, then it can see that we've been in the same place and it knows you've been in a shop beforehand. It might start serving me ads for that shop because we're friends. We hang out, so likely that I'm going to want to, like what you like as well. It's interesting.

(PS): It’s crazy.

(JW): It's crazy and it's scary, but on one hand—

(PS): Do you think it's that scary? I don't quite get why people are scared about it.

(JW): Well, I was just about say that I actually—why not?

(PS): Send me stuff I want.

(JW): Send me stuff I like.

(PS): If I’m in a surf shop, send me interesting things about surfing.

(JW): Yeah!

(PS): It's a bit like this technology. The only people that are scared about their privacy are people that have got things to hide.

(JW): Imagine a digital experience where I got to call up—I’m going to throw telcos under the bus here—an Internet provider and have them know that I've just moved house and connect it within a day rather than sitting on hold for 20 minutes, and in six weeks a guy comes out and sets it all up for you. Imagine if they're going, “Oh, you’re going to move house recently, I see. How about I connect our internet up here you'll be on the same plan?” and it's all done.

(PS): Yep. The other thing that I was quite surprised about when you guys did the scoping piece of work last week with us, was that we actually don't need any new technology, other than what you're introducing, that our existing platforms that we use throughout our processing plan is all we need. Which I think for a lot of people will be a breath of fresh air because the prospect of people adopting new technology is always daunting.

(JW): Yeah. Vic’s has an amazing plan and I know there's been a large investment there to be at the forefront of the industry. But not only that, we have tried to make this platform as easy to implement, because we know that any friction on that is going to really ruin any prospects we have of making this happen. It's meant to be supplementary technology. It's not coming in, we're not trying to compete with Marel, or any of the big stuff, SAP or Oracle, or any of those providers, we want to be able to fit in and configure with them.

(PW): Yeah. Amazing. So it's all happening.

(JW): It is. We're at the scary stage now.

(PS): First of July tomorrow.

(JW): Yeah, I know! There's a few things to tick off before then.

(PS): It’s a big day. How long do you think, if we push the button, how long do you think it will be before people can go to Victor Churchill in Woollahra and actually, in-store, scan a piece of meat and get this data? Is it weeks; is it months?

(JW): It's months. We see our early access program going for six to nine months, and they're full trials, that's not, “Oh, we'll do a little test”, they’re full-blown trials, but we're not going to rush this, it's not going to be rolled out—I don't know, can I say, in a half-assed manner?

(PS): Yeah!

(JW): But yeah, it’ll be six to nine months, with those early companies that we've got on board that will be rolling it out, and rolling out in a small way. I think in 12 to 24 months this will be rolled out and consumers will have it in the beef industry, and then hopefully from then on it will expand from there.

(PS): Mind blowing.

(JW): Yeah. Very cool!

(PS): Awesome. Jo, thanks for coming on.

(JW): No, thank you!

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