QR codes boost food traceability in NZ

QR code tracing fruit

A new quick response code system has been implemented to help consumers learn their product sources.

A traceability system has now been developed in New Zealand, which is meant to give consumers QR codes to scan so they will be able to use their smartphones to rapidly discover the sources of the products they want to buy.

The quick response codes were chosen because of their low cost and ease of use through any smartphone.

The system is called IDlocate and has been created by a company headquartered in Auckland, New Zealand. It makes it possible for companies to participate in the traceability system using QR codes for a one-time startup charge, with a monthly maintenance fee that continues from that point onward. This makes it possible for consumers to use it whenever they want, free of charge.

The IDlocate tech expert behind technical and operational issues, Simon Bell, explained that scanning the barcodes provides consumers with information relating to the specific product in which they are interested. This can also provide them with alerts regarding fraud issues, product recalls and other important news surrounding a specific item.

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The QR codes that are scanned provide information that is specific to the product in front of the shopper.

QR codes fruitA scan of the QRcode directs the consumer to a unique URL for that specific item, regardless of whether it is fresh produce or a packaged processed product that they are thinking about buying. Bell explained that “It’s all database-driven so when they scan the QR code, it generates a particular URL so whatever information we have around that particular product is unique. It could be anything. When a consumer scans it, it instantly tells them whether there’s a recall on that product.”

Bell did acknowledge that his program is not the only product traceability system that provides consumers with a history of food safety (such as the product temperature, status, location, etc). That said, where he said that the QR codes in IDlocate stand out is in the way it works because it is extremely informative and simple to use for the consumer.

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