RFID in the Food Chain

This seminar is designed to educate growers, distributors and producers of food and food products, as well as systems integrators and other implementers, regarding the benefits of using RFID to monitor the location and temperature of food as it moves through the supply chain. Hear about the current state of RFID technology, and learn how your organization can deploy the technology to achieve such benefits today. Moreover, gain an understanding of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), which gives the FDA mandatory recall authority for all food products.

Apr. 8 10:30 AM

RFID Basics

New to RFID? This optional session for all preconference attendees provides an introduction to the fundamentals of the technology. The differences between the various classes of tags will be explained, including active and passive systems, and the need for additional IT systems to build upon RFID in real-world applications will be highlighted. The session will also include a brief overview of the EPCglobal network, the future of ISO standards, ETSI reader regulations and the latest standardization efforts worldwide. Finally, the relationship between different standards in the area of EPC RFID, including the latest EPC Gen 2 standard, will be presented.
Speaker: Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal
Apr. 8 11:30 AM

RFID's Role in Food Safety

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has proposed two new rules for the food and beverage sector. The new rules are part of the agency's implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), which was signed into law in January 2011, following several serious outbreaks of food-borne illnesses in the United States. The regulations proposed by the agency require importers to take greater responsibility for the food they bring into the country, essentially shifting the burden of inspection from the FDA to private companies. Learn what the FSMA means for the food industry, and how RFID can be used to provide greater traceability along the supply chain.
Speaker: Michael Liard, Industry Analyst, Consultant


  • An understanding of how to gain, not lose, efficiencies while complying with FSMA
  • How to protect sensitive information, while still providing traceability data to third parties
Apr. 8 12:15 PM


Apr. 8 1:00 PM

Reducing Costs in the Fresh Food Supply Chain With RFID

Researchers at the University of Parma's RFID Lab have been examining the impact of pallet- and case-level RFID deployments in the fresh food supply chain, with a focus on retail stores. While tracking the flow of highly perishable fresh foods from different manufacturers through the distribution channel to three supercenters of a major retailer, researchers discovered that out-of-stocks are an element of a wider issue: a store's overall stock-management policy. Some store managers keep low stocks on store shelves and in the back room, while others maintain high inventory levels. Neither policy is optimal, and as a result, customers often find a quantity of perishable foods but not necessarily the quality—or freshness—they would like. Learn how the use of RFID can reduce product shrinkage, which can impact as much as 5 percent of store turnover for fresh products.
Speaker: Antonio Rizzi, Ph.D., Full Professor - Industrial Logistics and Supply Chain Management, University of Parma


  • How the RFID-tracking of pallets and cases of perishable goods can enable retailers to reduce costs and improve customer satisfaction
  • Future plans to conduct a pilot project to RFID-track pallets and cases of perishable goods in the fresh food supply chain
Apr. 8 1:45 PM

Using RFID to Identify and Track Livestock

Costa View Farms, located in Madera, Calif., first began employing RFID approximately ten years ago, when the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) began investigating the technology to monitor poultry and livestock populations so it could more quickly and effectively trace animal diseases to the source in the event of a breakout. Although the USDA has not yet mandated the use of an animal-identification system, Costa View Farms has tagged more than 15,000 dairy cows with passive RFID transponders encoded with unique ID numbers. Learn how the identification system has saved the farm's workers countless hours previously spent searching for and treating cows, while also improving its animal records and boosting milk production.
Speaker: Larry Pietrowski, Co-Owner, Costa View Farms


  • The benefits of utilizing RFID to replace a manual, paper-based system requiring workers to visually search for numbers printed on ear tags
  • How radio frequency identification can be used to safely and effectively treat sick animals
Apr. 8 2:30 PM


Apr. 8 2:45 PM

Monitoring Livestock Feeding Behavior With RFID

USDA researchers have developed an animal feeding behavior-monitoring system that employs radio frequency identification readers, antennas and multiplexers to gauge the health of livestock. The system has been in operation for several years at the Roman L. Hruska U.S. Meat Animal Research Center (USMARC), located in Clay Center, Neb. It is intended to capture the unique tag ID number of each animal that puts its head into a feed bunk or trough, and to do so without altering or restricting the way in which the animals feed. Learn how the system uses standards-based LF RFID technology, enabling it to read the ear tags of 128 to 240 animals within seconds, identifying when and for how long cattle or pigs eat, as well as what that means about their health and environmental conditions.
Speaker: Dr. Tami Brown-Brandl, Agricultural Engineer, USDA-ARS-MARC


  • How these measures provide insight into an individual animal's response to environmental changes, and can also potentially identify sick animals, based on the time spent eating
  • Future uses, including the potential for deployment in commercial settings
Apr. 8 3:30 PM

Improving Traceability Via UHF RFID Tags

In June of 2011, the RFID Application Development Lab (RADLab), at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT), was contracted by the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency (ALMA) to conduct a proof of concept and field trial of UHF RFID technology in Alberta's beef industry. The current LF technology faces some distinct challenges, and the opportunities and use cases for UHF RFID in this industry were ripe for harvest. At that time the project began, there was interest but almost no activity with UHF in this sector. Learn how the technology can be used to decrease the error read rate and improve read accuracy at a speed that better meets industry demands, and how it can also be more cost-effective, by lowering hardware costs.
Speaker: Glen Kathler, Applied Research Chair—RFID Application Development, Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT)


  • The benefits of employing UHF RFID in this sector, as well as ROI opportunities
  • The additional traceability that UHF RFID can provide that enhances food safety