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Smartphone traceability from grower to consumer

Could barcodes be a thing of the past?

Dataphyll is a start up company in New Zealand which has been developing a product for the horticultural industry called Binwise. The Binwise system replaces current barcode systems for harvest, logistics and traceability management. This system uses RIFD tags, RFID portals and Smart Phones and can be adapted for any type of fruit or vegetables, tracing it from the field right through to the end consumer.



The RFID tag can be attached to the harvesting bins to track the movement between the orchards and the packhouse, the tags can also be integrated into sticky labels on the packing, punnets, trays etc.

"We are using Near Field Communication or NFC technology which is prevalent in every smart phone, so any grower, worker or consumer can pick up their phone and look up the data. They can get information on where the fruit was grown and also information about it, like which treatments and sprays etc. were put on the crop. They can also follow the product's path to the supermarket. Also because the RFID system is extremely secure, the consumer can be assured of the provenance of the product, ie. if it was domestically grown or if it has been relabelled from some other country," explains Patrick Malley, Director of Dataphyll Limited.



"We want the Binwise system to be beneficial for the retailer and the consumer, but being a grower myself I also want it to benefit the grower. I think it is very important to first make sure it works for the growers and post-harvest operators on this end of the supply chain, because if it does not benefit them it remains a 'nice to have product' and there are so many other technologies out there that are nice to have, so you really need to have something which drives actual benefits to the grower. They need to be able to pick up and run with it and that is how we have built our software, to drive real-time produce tracking and staff productivity. Binwise removes a whole lot of work around labelling, saving labour costs and, as it all becomes automatic, this also saves a lot of time and hassle."



The system provides a lot of cost saving benefits, but also provides food safety, traceability and supply chain management.

Patrick says that their expectation is a period of two years before customers will see the system pay itself off, but some customers are saying that they have seen the return on their investment after a year.



"We have been working together with T&G Global at their Kerikeri site on their blueberry crop and we are now talking about expanding our product through some of the other ranges they have, although this still in the early stages of discussion.

"The best thing about this product is that it is adaptable to any crop, we have systems running on kiwifruit, blueberries and on raspberries, and we are looking at many other types of produce. It is very adaptable to any kind of horticultural produce because, ultimately, all you are doing is capturing data and tracking it electronically," according to Patrick.

Binwise is only being used in New Zealand at the moment, which as Patrick says is a very good proving ground, "But we are looking to become an international company in the near future and as a small company we want to work with people to make that happen."



The senior Dataphyll team, which includes Reuben Wallis, a hardware and systems specialist, and Christoph Kistler and Kerrin Roberts who are both senior developers, have been developing and working on the Binwise system for over two years. “It has taken us over two years of testing and development on the family orchard to get it right. There are a lot of technical issues on something like this and as soon as you put it in the hands of many different people you have be ready to deal with these issues. Horticulture has staff from a wide range of technical and educational backgrounds and this Binwise has to be accessible to all of them."

"We think we have a really good solution that starts right from the grower up through the supply chain. In addition to supply chain management, Binwise also captures a huge amount of data automatically which helps drive productivity reports and other useful tools so that growers are able to keep a track of and manage staff and their produce in real-time. Lots of growers that we have talked to have said that they were waiting for a product like Binwise to make their jobs easier and faster. And we are looking forward to working with many more growers to help improve their businesses."

For more information:
Patrick Malley
patrick@dataphyll.com
+64 21 963 363


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