UPM Raflatac's RFID Tags Help Confirm Food Origins, Supply Chain and Freshness

(UPM Raflatac, Tampere, July 4, 2008) UPM Raflatac's RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tags help retailers ensure that their assortment of food supplies available are safe, and that all phases of the supply chain have been handled in accordance with adopted and accepted regulations. RFID tagged products can be monitored throughout the supply chain i.e. from origin, production and transport to point of sale. This helps avoid cases where package markings do not correspond with reality regarding for example origin of the products. Moreover, UPM Raflatac’s tags can highlight the date of expiry with fresh consumables.

Sufficient package markings and handling of goods in accordance with regulations are extremely important since food supplies can travel long distances from their point of origin to the end-use country. Products that have past their sell-by date or are not handled in accordance with regulations at any point of the supply chain can be easily spotted due to the performance technology of RFID tags. Chance of human error can be minimized by designing the RFID system so that when reading data from tags, the system notifies sales personnel in case products have already passed their sell-by date. Products that no longer are suitable for sale can be tracked rapidly, and therefore can be pulled from shelves quickly contributing to consumer safety and health.

“In practice, tags are attached to products during the production phase, and data of outgoing products is then transferred to a global database. The entire supply chain can thereafter be monitored by both the manufacturer and purchaser. Traditional bar code readers in warehouses and stores need to be updated so that they have the ability to read data from RFID tags. This way real-time data can be gathered wirelessly to a database. In the future consumers will be able to check the product's entire journey to the store from a similar appliance that are now used to check the correct price information,” says Mikko Nikkanen, UPM Raflatac’s Business Development Director, RFID.

As food prices continuously change, consumers are increasingly demanding quality. “For premium class meat producers RFID can be a valuable advantage in the export markets. In addition, RFID technology offers retailers a chance to make their internal logistics chain more transparent and therefore more efficient. A crucial benefit can also be the ability to use RFID tags as anti-theft alarms. Return on investment can be achieved quickly as several areas of business can gain benefits simultaneously,” Nikkanen highlights.

Several international producers of food supplies, such as Nestlé, are already using UPM Raflatac's RFID tags in their applications.

For more information, please contact:
Mr Mikko Nikkanen, Business Development Director, RFID, UPM Raflatac, tel. +358 400 766 979

About UPM Raflatac
UPM Raflatac is a world-leading supplier of self-adhesive label materials for a wide variety of needs in product and information labelling. In addition, the company is at the global forefront in the development and high-volume production of HF and UHF radio frequency identification (RFID) tags and inlays. UPM Raflatac, which forms the Label Division of UPM, has around 2,700 employees and made sales of approximately EUR 1 billion in 2007. The company has a global service network consisting of 12 factories on five continents and a broad network of distribution and slitting terminals and sales offices worldwide. Further information is available at www.upmraflatac.com.