Researchers at the University of Tasmania have been awarded a $455,000 federal government grant. The money is destined to aid the development of a new technology that will help combat fruit fraud.
Dubbed a "supply chain traceability system", the new technology will allow both retailers and consumers to determine the true provenance of fruit and vegetables.
Australian Maritime College associate professor Johnny Fei is an expert in logistics and maritime management. He was the lead applicant for the team that successfully secured the grant funding, awarded under the Agriculture, Water and the Environment Department's traceability grants program.
"The department has outlined that improvements in the traceability of Australian horticultural products are critical due to the significant growth of production and exports in this sector and the increasing pressure from importing countries for traceability," Associate Professor Fei said.
The researchers say the growing export market for Tasmanian cherries will be one that will benefit from the technology. A small electronic device will be attached to each package of cherries, providing it with a unique identity. Meanwhile each pallet will have a sensor attached that will be able to measure temperature, humidity and other information along the supply chain.