IBM, Government of Vietnam, and FXA Group join forces to ensure seafood safety (RFID)

Strategic Collaboration Enables Smarter Food with Greater Safety and Quality Across the Entire Food Supply Chain

HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam, May 18 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/—IBM (NYSE: IBM) and FXA Group today announced a first of a kind collaboration with the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) and the Vietnamese State Agency for Technological Innovation (SATI) that will accelerate the adoption of traceability solutions to improve global food safety.

As part of a pilot project, IBM and FXA will collaborate with several local technology companies in Vietnam to provide a system that will use Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology to track Vietnamese seafood exports, a market worth more than US$ 4.25 billion in 2008. The goal of this strategic initiative will allow tracking of the origin of Vietnamese seafood exports and help ensure seafood’s freshness upon its arrival in global markets.

The food industry is facing some of the most challenging market conditions in its history. Consumer pressure and industry requirements for quality and traceability are driving producers to provide more detail on products. With foods being sourced across international borders, consumers are demanding to know more about the products they buy and the conditions they were grown and kept in—from farm to dinner table.

As part of the collaboration, IBM and FXA Group’s traceability technologies will be tested at selected Vietnamese farms which export seafood to retailers in Japan, the U.S. and Europe. Using FXA technology, the organizations will be able to collect the critical data about each batch of shrimp and other seafood—which farm it came from, where it was processed, its current location, temperature, and other relevant data. IBM technology will make that information accessible to all the parties involved in the seafood supply chain—including wholesalers, shippers, and retailers. Additionally, IBM technology will make it possible to trace individual boxes of frozen shrimp with a serial number.

The technology allows the collection of details such as a piece of shrimp came from which farm, at what temperature the batch of shrimp was stored or when and how the shrimp is harvested. If something goes wrong, retailers and authorities can pinpoint where the problem food is, arrange a targeted recall and potentially minimize the number of people affected.

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