Page 29 - Packaging News Magazine Mar-Apr 2021
P. 29

                                                                                                     March-April 2021 | | TRACK & TRACE
opens trade doors
this technology is game-changing for Australian producers.
“Smart label technology is advanc- ing very rapidly, particularly since the COVID-19 pandemic when com- panies and brands want to know where the product is coming from and ensure that it is COVID-safe.
“Consumers, as well as importers, are concerned about the safety of the products they are buying,” he says.
“Aglive is working with labelling businesses to integrate traceability and provenance to packaged prod- ucts. This is an excellent opportunity for labelling businesses to add value for their customers by creating trust between consumers, customers and brand owners. Labelling businesses are in a key position to underpin the creation of ethical supply chains.
“Smart labelling is also the most advanced way for brands to look through their entire supply chain to ensure that they are environmentally and socially sustainable,” he adds.
To consider more closely the evolv- ing role of two-dimensional (2D) bar- coding in track and trace, PKN spoke to Mark Dingley, CEO of intelligent systems provider Matthews Australasia, who explained that 2D barcodes have been around since the mid-1990s, but until recently they
didn’t attract much attention beyond a fixed QR code being used for con- sumer engagement.
“But that’s changing rapidly,” Dingley says. “For instance, in late January, we saw beef products from New Zealand presenting in a Beijing supermarket with a QR code linked to packaged goods coronavirus test results, providing quick clearance for the product.”
Dingley says this is an excellent example of how a long-established symbology can be deftly adapted to current circumstances.
“Of course, the question arising from this must be: is this a new benchmark set for Australian meat producers and technology partners to now achieve? My short answer is yes. Is this a shot across the bow from New Zealand, with its newly re- signed free trade deal with China? Not necessarily, but it would behoove the Australian industry to take it as such,” he says.
Over the past couple of years, Matthews has been working very closely with a major supermarket retailer, assisting and evaluating a 2DB rollout for point-of-sale for meat products nationally.
Dingley explains that the work has centred around food wastage and food safety, and preventing the sale of foods that have out-of-date expiry.
By beginning the trial in meat and fresh produce, it’s addressing a par- ticular concern around protecting vulnerable groups, such as the elderly and the disadvantaged, as well as driving internal efficiencies for the retailer.
“A year in, the 2DB trial with Woolworths is full steam ahead, and the preliminary results are exciting: already there’s been a 16 per-cent drop in the manual-code entry rate on marked-down goods with the Quick Sale labels,” Dingley says
“And that’s just one reportable impact. It’s an important trial, and we’re proud to be in integral part of working with a major Australian retailer to create solutions in food safety that help to protect vulnera- ble groups.”
The unhappy negative effects of COVID aside, Dingley says there are positives from occurrences such as this.
“The pandemic has caused mercu- rial changes in the supply chain, but it’s in such unpredictable, volatile circumstances that we often see progress as an industry,” he says.
It is an exciting time for the pack- aging industry, and for companies like Matthews, Macka’s and Aglive, who are at the forefront of innovation that’s ensuring a healthy future for producers and consumers. ■
          ABOVE LEFT: The Aglive smart label unlocks Macka’s brand story.
ABOVE: Macka’s QR code-style label means the product can be tracked every step along the supply chain via a smartphone- based app.
LEFT: Smart labels are building consumer confidence in all markets.

   27   28   29   30   31