Woolworths to trial data-embedded barcodes

Woolworths is set to launch a trial of data-embedded barcodes on fresh meat and poultry items, aiming to dramatically reduce food wastage.

The Australian retail giant is set to begin adding the 2D barcodes to products from August, which unlike current 1D barcodes are embedded with the product’s batch, supplier, use by date and point of sale.

“We’re proud to be the first Australian supermarket to invest in this technology, and hope it can help us further reduce food waste,” Woolworths general manager of business enablement Richard Plunkett said.

READ MORE: Woolworths launches app that allows suppliers to track sales of their items

“2D barcodes have immense potential and we’re excited to see how they will improve food safety, traceability and stock management.”

The new barcodes, which work by adding another layer of horizontal binary bars on top of a traditional barcode, will allow users to pinpoint which specific batches need recalling if there is a contamination and trace it back through the production line all the way to the farm.

It will also reduce the risk of out-of-date items being sold, as customers can be immediately informed when the barcodes are scanned at a checkout.

Inghams, which partnered with Woolworths to develop the tech, added: “Ingham’s is proud to be a pioneer in the 2D barcode initiative with Woolworths. Food safety and traceability are paramount to our business.

“Delivering quality products that incorporate cutting edge technology to enhance these elements and provide a range of benefits to consumers is a step we gladly embrace.”

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