Research and development

Pilots with partners

Traceability is an emerging capability for the Australian agricultural sector. The Victorian Government has invested $3.1 million from the Food to Market Grant Fund for traceability (2021-23).

To deliver this investment, Agriculture Victoria has partnered with industry associations to:

  • trial and test modern, digitalised traceability systems and technologies
  • assess how effective traceability systems are in a practical setting, on-farm and along the supply chain.

Project: Table Grapes traceability pilot, 2021/22 harvest season

Partnership: Australian Table Grapes Association (ATGA) and Agriculture Victoria


  • Build, diversify and protect exports by developing producer-to-consumer traceability.
  • Use unique GS1 digital link enabled QR code labelling systems. These enable automated data sharing with supply chain partners and origin authentication for consumers, together with consumer feedback.
  • Use global GS1 standards to connect export markets by using a common language for produce. This will help Australian exporters remain competitive, using standards recognised in international markets.
  • Develop a Cost Benefit Analysis calculator  to help estimate the return on investment of a traceability system.

More information: visit the traceability section of the ATGA website.

Project: Citrus export development traceability pilot, 2022 harvest season

Partnership: Citrus Australia and Agriculture Victoria


  • Strengthen citrus traceability for high-value export markets.
  1. Apply international GS1 traceability standards, labelling and supply chain tracking for producer-to-consumer traceability.
    • Use automation to reduce data entry and integrate traceability technologies at the Mildura Fruit Company (MFC) packhouse.
    • Make bags and cartons of fruit traceable by sales unit to the end customer by adding unique GS1 digital link enabled QR code labels.
  2. Create a national crop mapping platform to support the citrus industry to respond and recover at times of crises. This includes during a bushfire, severe weather event or biosecurity incursion. The platform will streamline government processes by improving accuracy of information and traceability.
  3. Trial isotope authentication testing. This will help develop a data profile to differentiate Australian fruit from overseas samples and verify origin. Origin authentication may be useful in instances of food fraud, recall and traceability during biosecurity incidents.

More information: visit the traceability section of the Citrus Australia website.

Project: Cherry traceability pilot, 2022-2024

Partnership: Cherry Growers Australia (CGA) and Agriculture Victoria


  • Build and protect Australian cherry exports.
  • Develop on farm traceability using radio frequency identification (RFID) systems.
  • Develop GS1 digital link enabled QR code label systems that track the product journey from farm-to-customer.
  • Implement international GS1 Standards enhancing the international compatibility of these supply chains for global exports and domestic markets.

More information: email

Research and development

The Victorian Government has also invested $11.7 million through the Traceability Fund (2021-24). Part of this investment supports proof-of-concept supply chain traceability research and pilot projects. This work highlights the importance and value (or otherwise) to an industry when using specific systems.

Project: Cherry cool chain monitoring for exports

Partnership: Cherry Growers Australia (CGA) and Agriculture Victoria Research (AVR)


  • Show benefits of using real-time data loggers and new sensor technologies to monitor the export cool chain for both sea and air-freight.
  • Monitor air-freight temperatures in the export supply chain for Victorian grown cherries from the grower to export markets in Asia.
  • Identify delays or problems associated with poor temperature management along the supply chain and advise industry on areas of improvement.
  • Inspection of cherry consignments in Asia and assess fruit quality out-turn linked to ‘real-time’ temperature monitoring.
  • Assess Australian grown fruit in Asia to review how Victorian grown produce compares against the other states.
  • Assist the cherry industry to improve produce quality in export markets through:
    • testing new sensor technologies and data capture solutions along domestic and export supply chains; and
    • sharing research findings with cherry growers, exporters and other supply chain stakeholders.

More information: visit the Horticulture Industry Networks website or contact Glenn Hale, Horticultural Scientist, Agriculture Victoria e:

This project was completed pre-COVID and a second phase is being developed with CGA through the Food to Market Grant Fund.


Using smart trackers to monitor fresh cherry exports

New sensor technologies: measuring sugar levels in cherries

Project: Serviced Supply Chain systems for quality

Partnership: Hort Innovation, Department of Agriculture and Fisheries Queensland (DAFQ), Agriculture Victoria Research (AVR), Summerfruit Australia Limited and AUSVEG in collaboration with major growers and exporters.


  • Use monitoring systems to gather information on:
    • fruit quality changes
    • storage and shelf-life potential and
    • in-transit cold disinfestation outcomes.
  • Use data modelling to develop prediction tools, determine appropriate monitoring technologies and systems.
  • Exporters are using the monitoring and prediction technologies to make decisions based on science and maximise produce quality during sea freight export.

More information: visit the Horticulture Industry Network or contact John Lopresti, Research Scientist, Agriculture Victoria e:


Decision Aid Tools (DATs)

Table grapes: Real-time temperature monitoring for sea freight to Asia

Project: Apple and pear identification and tracking

Partnership: Fruit Growers Victoria (FGV), apple and pear producers and Agriculture Victoria Research (AVR)


  • User-led design and testing of a harvest traceability application programming interface (API) for the apple and pear industry.
    • NOTE: An API is a way for two or more computer programs to communicate with each other. Businesses along the supply chain can use the API to connect their software and make the systems ‘talk’ to each other.
  • Use the API architecture (developed by AVR at the Tatura SmartFarm) to register and exchange data about a harvest event and production unit to support information exchange with the next user i.e. packing shed.
  • Demonstrate, evaluate and integrate with third party systems.
    • e.g. GrowFruit used by FGV to monitor and record pests and diseases in an orchard, integrating with the harvest traceability application.

More information contact Kieran Murphy, Research Leader Spatial Information Sciences, Agriculture Victoria e:

Project:  Enhancing Food Chains – Anti Microbial Resistance (AMR) Traceability in Horticulture

Partnership: School of Applied Systems Biology, La Trobe University


  • Address the gap in pre-farm gate surveillance and tracing AMR in commensal, food safety and other pathogenic bacteria occurring in horticulture.
  • Establish benchmarks of AMR for selected horticulture enterprises and production /supply settings.
  • Develop a reference catalogue of food safety bacteria and other bacteria with AMR, which can support AMR traceability systems for plants, animals and humans.
  • Development of an in-house and quality assured molecular diagnostic capability to detect AMR for foodborne bacteria isolated from produce.
  • Develop a proof-of-concept laboratory and in-field, point-of-care detection method for AMR directly from produce.

More information: contact Janine Muller, Senior Research Scientist, Microbiology, Agriculture Victoria e:

Project: Traceability and fruit quality sensing in machine harvesters

Partnership: Green Atlas Cartographer Rubens Technologies, Electo-Com, Zebra Technologies, Revo Piuma Platform Harvesters, Monash University.


  • Develop and field test the accuracy of sensors on harvesting platforms to:
    • measure fruit quality
    • support grading and packing in the orchard.
  • Identify suitable robotic systems for sensing fruit quality. This will mean, only fruit that meets the required specification is picked.
  • Develop and field test a sensorised robotic harvester on a diverse range of orchard systems.
  • Develop and test automated bin tracking systems on robotic and platform harvesters. And review any associated downstream data capture.

More information: contact Ian Goodwin, Research Leader Crop Physiology, Agriculture Victoria e:

Project: Traceability foundations

Partnership: GS1, Spatial Vision, Pact Group,


  • Design and develop the core traceability framework for orchard data exchanges to increase orchard information supporting fruit traceability systems.
  • Better integration of information collected in the orchard to support increased resolution of production input data that -
    • Utilise and integrate GS1 standards including Global Location Numbers (GLN’s), EPCIS and Core Business Vocabulary (CBV).
    • Establish a model for orchard automation utilising precision location services.
  • Pilot with AgTech / supply chain partners on opportunities to connect orchard production data with a third-party system at selected points in the supply chain.
    • The guidelines developed in this project support data exchanges from the orchard into other systems, including platform harvesting and fruit grading technologies.
    • Secure access to information about the produce, including growing conditions, eco-credentials / credence values, spray treatments and water applications.

More information: contact Kieran Murphy, Research Leader, Agriculture Resource Sciences, Agriculture Victoria

Links: GS1 data sharing standards

Page last updated: 03 Feb 2023