Sunday, May 20, 2007

Fair Tracing Project

The Fair Tracing project at Britain's University of Bradford is developing a digital tag that would tell the backstory behind your bananas--or your coffee or chocolate. As food makes its way to your plate, growers, refiners, exporters, and retailers could upload information about their role in the supply chain. That text, audio, and video could connect consumers with an otherwise anonymous gastronomic universe.

Apurba Kundu, who leads the Fair Tracing project, and his team have created a crude demo version that relies on bar codes--but the final technology could take the form of a radio-frequency-identification system or, more simply, a unique number printed on the label. They've partnered with Ehrmanns, a UK importer of fair-trade wine; we could see the first tagged bottles by next spring. If it works, shoppers will punch numbers into their cell phone or PDA right in the store, or on their computer back home.
I like this idea and hope that it goes far.

via Fast Company

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