The custodians of Brand Australia

Latitude 28° is the amalgamation of two longstanding livestock families, proudly taking Australian beef to international markets. Seeing themselves as ‘custodians of brand Australia’, the Latitude 28° team feels a duty to uphold the legacy of Australia’s agricultural industry, offering a brand and product that consumers can trust.

In export markets like China where food fraud is common, consumer confidence can be easily undermined, threatening to erode sales in an increasingly valuable sector. L28 advantage is built on a three-pillared promise: engageable, interactable and traceable, where the use of technology aims to improve consumer perception of Australian produce and develop trust around point of origin.

The L28 brand has been developed to resonate with the modern Asian consumer. The company uses data analysis from across digital touchpoints to reveal patterns. That engagement facilitates two-way communication and allows the company to precisely adapt marketing and product offerings to suit ever-evolving consumer demands and tastes.

A direct-to-consumer (D2C) model empowers consumers with the ability to buy direct. Simple in concept but lacking in-market, direct interaction with the producer alleviates the concerns of Chinese consumers that consistently question the authenticity of product redistributed by local wholesalers and retailers. A recent Food Innovation Australia (FIAL) report, Capturing the Prize, quantified the D2C value-added opportunity at $21bn by 2030.

The final piece in the puzzle is the use of blockchain technology to provide an additional layer of authenticity. L28 blockchain takes supply chain transparency to an all new level, merging the digital and physical world and recording a product’s journey from paddock to plate.

While there are other solutions available that address authenticated supply chain, the clear need in L28’s own business case allowed them to develop something to specifically address the needs of their own customer base.

As an unalterable database history of all transactions, including Australian Government product verification, the final buyer is able to access the entire record of information and trust that the data is both accurate and complete.

L28 credits involvement with Western Australian ag-tech cluster, AgriStart, as critical to the company’s success. Participation in the Harvest program raised the company’s domestic profile and helped the team think from new angles when strategically analysing the business. Introductions to supply partners, governments and industry bodies provided an amazing platform for new opportunities.

One such introduction saw L28 work with Meat & Livestock Australia in 2019 on a project designed to determine consumer attitudes to the use of blockchain technology in product origin authentication and if there is marketing opportunity inherent in its use. The project used L28 blockchain technology to track product from paddock to plate via a seven-staged supply chain into China. In a market increasingly at risk of fraudulent trade and reputational damage, the peace of mind delivered by accurate authentication is seen as valuable marketing tool.

This story originally appeared in the fifth edition of Food Innovation Australia (FIAL)’s Celebrating Australian Food and Agribusiness Innovations.

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