SINGAPORE — In just a matter of days, a cross-continent commodity trade transaction of wheat from North America to Southeast Asia was completed by global agriculture supply chain partners utilizing a blockchain platform.

Cargill, Agrocorp, Rabobank and other logistics partners used a blockchain platform provided by Singapore-based dltledgers to settle a $12 million shipment agreement on April 1.

Partners included Cargill, Rabobank North America, Rabobank Singapore, ship owner Amarante, shipping agent Transmarine, and agri-commodity trader Agrocorp International. The dltledgers blockchain solution is built on the open-source Hyperledger Fabric platform.

The partnership sees the completed transaction as a win to help the global agriculture supply chain deliver food to where it's needed, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are constantly seeking ways to work with our partners to help make food and agricultural supply chains more inclusive and respond to demands,” said Jennifer Davidson, trade execution lead of Cargill. “We see this transaction as the latest example of how working together and using technology to solve challenges can improve trade, as well as traceability, food safety, nutrition and more.”

The blockchain platform provides a repeatable framework for end-to-end digital trade executions, digitalizing the document and trade execution process. The trade took a total of just five days to settle, whereas traditional trading processes can take up to a month. The platform created a shared, unchangeable record of the transaction — a single source of information for all parties.

“It's our mission to digitize trade finance operations,” said Rabobank's key facilitators, Mario Cortinhal in North America and Olivier De Jong in Singapore. “Consensus-driven smart contracts in this deal minimized our time spent on processing documents by more than half. Riding on the success of this test-case, Rabobank is excited to advance the $10 trillion trade-finance industry.”

According to dltledgers, cross-border commodity trading is one of the most promising sectors for blockchain, which allows for real time monitoring by multiple parties, dispenses with concerns about data ownership, and simplifies the exchange of documents in a digital, secure and decentralized manner. The solution is a way to continue operations within the global constraints of the pandemic.

“We have been engaging in digital trade execution using blockchain for over 18 months now and have been able to increase efficiency internally and externally,” said Abhinav Vijay, sustainability manager of Agrocorp International. “In addition, it is great to partner with Cargill to drive the commodities industry forward. Considering the current world climate and the logistical challenges to move physical documents around the globe, this is just a start and we hope to execute more trades via the platform in the near future.”

Follow our breaking news coverage of the coronavirus/COVID-19 situation.