Part V: Report on IDTechEx Food Traceability 2006

Dr Peter Harrop
Part V: Report on IDTechEx Food Traceability 2006
"Documentation and Traceability as a Part of an Integrated Solution for Farmers and Advisory Services" was the topic of Walter Mayer, CEO, PROGIS Software AG, Austria, including
  • food & feed traceability - the European way
  • documentation of agricultural activities
  • GIS and time management
  • farm advisory service
  • e-content in the agricultural field
  • agri business calculation
  • mapping and precision farming
  • nutrient balance for fields and whole farms
  • ecological values - models and calculation
Chipless RFID has been around for a decade yet only a few companies have made a success of it. Haing RFID without a silicon chip in the tag has sometimes led to improved security (HID), lower cost (AstraZeneca working with Scientific Generics) and other benefits in other cases. Surface Acoustic Wave SAW RFID has never been the cheapest but it is intermediate between lowest cost, poorest performance solutions and silicon chip solutions. Expect a big announcement form RFSAW soon, because SAW technology is coming back in much improved form, where it has many advantages over silicon and does not have to be sold on price. Indeed RFSAW RFID tags are typically one dollar each. Some indications are given by the new literature issued by RFSAW at the conference and shown below.
"Global SAW RFID Solutions for Food Track and Traceability" were covered by
Paul Hartmann, VP Engineering, RFSAW, USA including:
  • SAW-Based RFID (GST) with its long read range and other features is a prime candidate for meeting specific important performance requirements for item traceability in the food supply chain.
  • Features include: Long read-range with low power/transmit; automatic range and temperature determination; immunity to gamma radiation; and the ability to read tags on liquid-containing products and metal containers.
  • This paper includes discussion of a range of applications and results of demonstrations such as: reading truckloads of fruit-bins entering a distribution center; reading case tags for cans in the center of a pallet; and reading GST devices imbedded in cattle ear tags at 20 meters.
David Michael, Managing Director, Wondu Business & Technology Services, Australia covered "Searching for The Optimal Traceability Business Model (OTBM)". He considered the optimal traceability business model and primacy of the market and its end users and requirements for industry competitiveness and competitive advantage of firms. Then he covered requirements for regulatory support and voluntary agreements and requirements for functionality and consistent performance. Then he considered application to new animal product industries in Australia, a research project in progress for the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (Australia).

The IDTechEx conference Food Traceability 2006, held on February 1-2 2006 in Dallas, USA, was a great success with attendance from 13 countries. There was a consensus that track, trace and identify are merging as both sciences and needs. Requirements and executions before and after the farm gate are also becoming seamless. These barriers are rapidly breaking down. New sources of data such as RFID, 2D barcodes and widespread DNA analysis are creating a challenge in the sheer volume of data generated. External Link
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