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New Zealand Group Uses EPCglobal Network to Track Livestock, Meat

The participants utilized a variety of EPC RFID hardware and software in a project designed to prove the effectiveness of the EPCglobal Network as a tool for traceability.
By Dave Friedlos
All tag data was successfully captured and recorded at each read point and transmitted in XML format using commercially available EPC middleware provided by Sedna Systems to GS1 Hong Kong's EPCIS server EzTrack, which collaborated with GS1 New Zealand. The tag data was not transmitted in real time, but was batch uploaded within a few hours of the read.

"We wanted to prove that the EPCglobal Network would provide traceability, and we did that; information was read, sent and interrogated in a standardized way and provided meaningful business information," Hartley says. "The need for traceability of foods is gaining momentum, and we showed that EPCglobal Network can provide supply chain visibility, to allow for better supply chain management. There is a real opportunity here; the standards are in place, the technology is improving and it is time for companies to develop a business case and see if there is a competitive advantage in terms of real time visibility and traceability."

Finished cuts of meat were packed in tagged cartons.
ANZCO Foods sells its meat products in Europe, North American and Asia. The company's IT manager, Mark Rance, agrees the time is coming when companies must examine the business benefits of RFID and the EPCglobal Network.

"We have been closely associated with GS1 New Zealand and the trials of UHF from the start because we feel this is something that will be expected of businesses in the future," he says. "Traceability is being increasingly talked about, and it is just a matter of when technology like this will be needed. We got involved in these trials to make sure we stayed ahead of the curve."

Rance says the trial has shown the potential benefits of UHF EPC RFID tags and the EPCglobal Network through increased supply chain visibility and traceability of livestock and processed meat. But he said further adoption by ANZCO Foods would be driven by customer demands, such as meat processors and retailers, for supply chain visibility.

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