Hawaiian farms launch a food traceability program based on RFID technology.March 1, 2009
A statewide food traceability initiative based on radio frequency identification (RFID) technology has been launched throughout the Hawaiian islands. The Hawaii Produce Traceability initiative, a three-year pilot program, will provide product visibility down to the farm or field level. The program is being coordinated by Hawaii's Department of Agriculture and the Hawaii Farm Bureau. A number of Hawaiian growers, distributors and retailers are participating in the program, which is centered on fresh produce, including asparagus, eggplants, pineapples and tomatoes.Phase 1 of the program is based on an RFID solution developed by Lowry Computer Products that uses RFID labels and inlays from UPM Raflatac, hardware from Motorola's Symbol Technologies group and system software from Globe Ranger. This solution is designed to provide real-time supply chain data of when boxed produce is planted and harvested, what pesticides are used, and when and where RFID-tagged boxes are scanned. The data will be automatically uploaded into a database, for use by program participants. More information is available atwww.hawaiifoodsafetycenter.org.Some of the goals of the program include:
- optimizing harvest productivity;
- strengthening food processing controls;
- increasing cold chain visibility;
- reducing produce dwell time on shipping and receiving docks;
- accelerating transportation times between supply chain partners;
- improving inventory turns.