Glencore Agriculture has joined the initiative to digitalise global grain trading that was launched last year.

Glencore Agricultural Products

Last November, four major global grain trading businesses – ADM, Bunge, Cargill and Louis Dreyfus – announced a joint collaborative project to explore how emerging digital technologies such as blockchain and artificial intelligence could reduce the resources and time needed to move agricultural commodities around the world while increasing transparency and efficiency for customers. COFCO International has since joined the group.

The initiative is focussing on the post-trade execution processes for grains and oilseeds initially, with a pilot project covering the international bulk shipments of soybeans from Brazil to China but will grow to cover more commodities over time. It hopes to have the new platform in place for the second half of 2020, subject to regulatory approvals.

“We’ve been interested in the initiative from the very early days and we’re excited now to join as a full partner,” states Glencore Agriculture chief executive David Mattiske. “The digital platform this group intends to develop will leverage the newest technologies and has the potential to revolutionise our industry, making contract execution processes more efficient, more accurate and more transparent. These advances are necessary for our industry to continue serving our critical global role efficiently and effectively, and the benefits will be felt by companies of all sizes along the post-trade value chain.”

Discussions have been held with interested parties such as shippers, charterers, buyers, service providers, financial institutions, trade associations and industry standards and regulatory authorities. These have identified the critical issues over security and data privacy, technology choices business models and functionalities and capabilities, together with the adoption strategy, to ensure the new platform meets the needs of the entire industry and help select technology providers.