Industryweek 1310 17277rfidmeat

RFID Down on the Farm and Up on the Shelves

Sept. 12, 2008
IBM teams with Norwegian food giant to develop track-and-trace technology.

Matiq, the IT subsidiary of Nortura, a major Norwegian food supplier, plans to start using radio frequency identification (RFID) technology to track and trace poultry and meat products from the farm, through the supply chain, to supermarket shelves. Matiq and IBM will develop and manage the technology infrastructure needed to enable RFID solutions for the Norwegian food market. Product packaging will be tagged with RFID chips to help ensure that products are kept in optimal conditions throughout the supply chain.

Using this solution, Norwegian suppliers and supermarkets using software that complies with GS1 EPCglobal's Electronic Product Code Information Services (EPCIS) standard (which allows sharing of RFID data across and between enterprises) will be able to monitor and analyze their entire value chain, increasing efficiency and reducing costs. If it works as planned, the solution will help manufacturers and retailers to become more responsive to changes in consumer buying patterns.

"Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of food quality, safety, origin and traceability," observes Are Bergquist, CEO of Matiq. "This creates greater pressure on manufacturers to keep track of every component in the manufacturing process, in order to ensure that their products are safe for the consumer." To that end, Matiq and IBM are developing solutions that will help ensure food safety on the consumer's terms, Bergquist states.

Meat cutters at a technology showplace Future Store in Germany apply RFID smart labels to meat packages. Each package is identified and recorded when it is placed into the display case.IBM's WebSphere RFID Information Center software will allow companies to share product movement information with trading partners who are also using EPCIS-compliant solutions. IBM's Global Technology Services unit will implement the end-to-end infrastructure solution for Matiq, and IBM experts on sensors and RFID will work with Matiq to develop the solution.

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