EAI IIES Summit and Exhibition
Riva del Garda, Trento Italy 4-6 October, 2012
Food Safety & Autenticity 2012
Brussels, Belgium 18-20 September, 2012
Rome, Italy, 23-27 July 2012
IEEE Symposium and URSI Meeting
Chicago, IL, USA 8-14 July, 2012
QUID Innovation Italy
Milan, Italy 27-28 June, 2012
INSME - INNOBIZ - WTA Hi-tech fair
Daejeon, South Korea 21-25 May 2012
CIBUS 2012
Parma, Italy 7-10 May 2012
SMAU business 2012
Padova, Italy 18-19 April 2012
IEEE International Conference on RFID
Orlando, FL, USA 3-5 April 2012
Anuga FoodTec - F2F at Speakers' Corner
Cologne, Germany 28 March 2012


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The project will showcase the ability of RFID technologies to make a return on investment for SMEs in the food industry. The opportunities for such a return on investment arise from the following:

  • By including processing, logistics and retail new opportunities are created to increase quality, reduce wastage, reduce energy used for refrigeration, reduce chemical usage for preservatives, optimize carbon use, etc.
  • Opportunities to create markets for premium products (organic, etc.) if technology can address authentication, condition monitoring and quality control
  • Impact on competitiveness and productivity gains, privacy and authentication issues
  • Potential for new markets for food producers in the regions
  • Increased productivity through reduced wastage
  • Authentication of origin, process and transport of products

These advantages have been realized in large contexts, which have control over most or all of the value chain and are in a position to make an end-to-end investment. However, they are not available to independent SMEs, which only participate in one stage of the value chain. By linking RFID and sensor network technologies with a Europe wide database, which can store the exact history of any food product, SMEs will be given the opportunity to optimize their own business process to maximize return. In addition, a pan-union resource will be created which will allow producers to demonstrate unequivocally the quality and freshness of their product, which will have the effect both of increasing consumer confidence, and increasing producer margins.
With RFID technology used in their value chain, SMEs can benefit in:

  • improved worker productivity and efficiency;
  • reduction in labour costs;
  • fast quality problems detection by monitoring environmental variables;
  • more efficient control of the supply chain due to increased information accuracy;
  • reduction of human errors from manual scanning operations;
  • better tracking and tracing of products;
  • enhanced profit margins.

The implementation of RFID pilots in different countries with hardware and software solutions including local and global database systems could impact on competitiveness and productivity gains nationwide and European Union. Many SMEs would have opportunities to:

  • enlarge their market by selling their products in EU;
  • enlarge the productivity and employ more people;
  • assure and improve traceability in EU;
  • intensify the competitiveness by the recognition of their quality, authenticity;
  • get help in the respective RFID application

This project will stimulate the take up and acceptance of RFID by the provision of a popular use, which provides direct benefits for consumers. The pilots must guarantee considerable benefits to consumers and institutes as it allows the following controls to be effected:

  • Origin of agricultural products
  • Production method
  • Processing process
  • Controls effected
  • Genetic identity of the livestock, vegetables and phytosanitary controls effected
  • Anagraphical data (passport)
  • Means of transportation and distribution of the meat, vegetables and end-products.

The technical solution should stir up the interest of SMEs as it reaches several main goals:

  • Easy to use
  • The information is disclosed automatically
  • It is easy to install the network sensors in a reduced space
  • Reasonable costs
  • RFID price is very low
  • Communication through GSM / GPRS / UMTS is cheap nowadays.

The more parameters are monitored, the more rigorous will be the solution. A very rigorous standard is definitely welcome from those SMEs that make high-quality products with very limited production but the overall number of SMEs interested on this technology will be smaller than we expect. This traceability system should be proposed as EU certification, with a proper label applied to the end product (e.g. AOC, DOC).
Accelerating the take-up of RFID technologies between European SMEs and paving the way for an environment in which concepts and ideas for a future Internet of Things can be developed.

  • Providing a set of indicators that allow the analysis of the driving forces affecting RFID adoption in SMEs, e.g. Competition (cost reduction and competitive advantages), Legislation & Regulation (e.g. traceability, e-pedigree), Consumer Mandates (e.g. In retail and logistics), and many others.
  • Fostering demand in RFID technologies among SMEs opening wider markets for suppliers of innovative RFID-based solutions many of which are innovative SMEs.
  • Return on investment for participating SMEs, by inclusion in a system which allows them to optimize their part of the value chain in line with the requirements of the whole chain
  • Increased consumer confidence, since it will be possible to gain precise information on the origin and condition of foodstuffs
  • Reduced wastage and carbon usage, by allowing optimization of transport and storage conditions on the basis of monitoring of the whole value chain
  • Opening up of new markets, by means of the ability to demonstrate the quality and freshness of the product