RFID growth down
on the farm?
Animals, food and farming will represent the largest RFID market according to a report from IDTechEx, an educational, seminars and consultancy group based in Cambridge, England. Author Peter Harrop says, “RFID will benefit the food supply chain in a huge number of ways including livestock disease control and merchandising prepared food.” He says the market for RFID systems and tags could reach around $9 billion over the next decade. He adds that users will gain rapid paybacks from improved traceability, condition monitoring, crime reduction and error prevention.
Apparently less expensive RFID tags without silicon chips combined with Real Time Locating Systems (RTLS) — a form of active RFID — will provide an increasingly affordable method of asset control and similar uses. Harrop says there are new advances in signal handling and readers at the favored HF frequency that increase the reading range by 50-400 percent. However, there is “temporary” disappointment at some consumer goods and RFID suppliers that cannot persuade certain retailers to share the considerable financial benefits of today’s UHF tagging of pallets and cases. Others are experiencing technical problems with this approach.
The report, titled “RFID for Animals, Food and Farming 2007-2017”, analyzes the technologies, solutions and markets. It is aimed at food processors, the farming industry, logistics experts and companies serving these industries. It includes detailed 10-year forecasts for 2007-2017 by sector, tag and system. Also included are several international case studies to illustrate best practice, ranging from tracing food in China to managing Starbucks deliveries in the USA.
The report examines current developments in the industry, such as the Electronic Product Code (EPC). Here it discusses the concern of many East Asian companies that the EPC global organization and product specifications are too expensive for management of the food supply chain. It also covers the resulting emergence of the locally managed Universal Product Code and specifications now being trialled by governments in seven East Asian countries.