A lot of work is being done to investigate and measure the benefits RFID can deliver to companies in the perishable food business. Some firms are already using the technology to track perishables through the supply chain, while others employ RFID-based temperature sensors to monitor when goods are exposed to temperatures outside an acceptable range.
EastPack, a New Zealand company that packs, stores and ships more than 12 million trays of kiwifruit annually to numerous locations worldwide, reports that it has achieved benefits from tracking trays of fruit immediately. Using RFID, it can ship more fruit in less time, and ensure that trays are not misplaced, thereby reducing spoilage (see New Zealand Kiwifruit Processor Finds ROI).
Governments are also examining RFID’s potential. The Hawaii Department of Agriculture was the first U.S. state agency to launch an RFID tracking pilot designed to help farmers, distributors and retailers track their produce through the supply chain, and to allow for traceability in the case of contamination (see Hawaii Plans Trace-Back Program for Fresh Food).
Here are some other articles that might be of interest:
—Mark Roberti, Editor, RFID Journal
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