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New phone app to combat wine label fraud in China

New phone app to combat wine label fraud in China article image

A new phone app has been developed to give Chinese consumers renewed confidence when buying Australian wine and food products.  

China's CTV has reported that up to 50 per cent of wine sold in China could have fake labels.  

In an effort to shore-up the authenticity of Australian exports to China, former Boomers basketball player Andrew Vlahov and his business partner Grant Shaw have teamed up with Chinese IT company Invengo and consultants Deloittes to develop an app that detects authentic labels.  

Mr Vlahov says customers will pay a small premium for a bottle of wine that's authenticated.  

"That's essentially what we're trying to do, establish a new benchmark and protocol that's accepted by Australians and the Chinese."  

The authenticity app is used to scan the bottle's label to truly identify where it has come from, and tracks it's journey from producer to customer.  

Mr Vlahov said the cost to Australian producers and the customers in China would be minimal.  

"Wine leaves our country between $5 and $6 a litre but is sold on the shelf at about $25 or $30 a litre.  

"The technology application we're talking about is less than $1 a litre."  

Significant opportunities  

The Ferngrove Wine Group, in the Frankland River region in Western Australia's south-west, has been exporting wine to China for more than a decade.  

The group will assist Mr Vlahov and Mr Shaw with testing the app in coming months.  

Ferngrove managing director and CEO Anthony Wilkes says the market for wine exports to Asia is growing exponentially.  

"I think if you're not participating in that market you are going to miss some fairly significant opportunities."  

Mr Wilkes says the Chinese market is open to high quality goods from Australia.  

He says a 2008 incident where contaminated milk powder resulted in tens of thousands of children being admitted to hospital has 'put a lot of doubt' in local food production.  

"As more and more Chinese become more affluent and they want better food and things in life, they seek out where the good produce is.  

"I think healthy and safe is very important to them."  

Source: ABC Rural

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