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International Journal of Antennas and Propagation
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 531364, 15 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/531364
Research Article

An RFID-Based Tracing and Tracking System for the Fresh Vegetables Supply Chain

Department of Innovation Engineering, University of Salento, 73100 Lecce, Italy

Received 3 April 2013; Revised 21 May 2013; Accepted 22 May 2013

Academic Editor: Iñigo Cuiñas

Copyright © 2013 Luca Mainetti et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The paper presents an innovative gapless traceability system able to improve the main business processes of the fresh vegetables supply chain. The performed analysis highlighted some critical aspects in the management of the whole supply chain, from the land to the table of the end consumer, and allowed us to reengineer the most important processes. In particular, the first steps of the supply chain, which include cultivation in greenhouses and manufacturing of packaged vegetables, were analyzed. The re-engineered model was designed by exploiting the potentialities derived from the combined use of innovative Radio Frequency technologies, such as RFID and NFC, and important international standards, such as EPCglobal. The proposed tracing and tracking system allows the end consumer to know the complete history of the purchased product. Furthermore, in order to evaluate the potential benefits of the reengineered processes in a real supply chain, a pilot project was implemented in an Italian food company, which produces ready-to-eat vegetables, known as IV gamma products. Finally, some important metrics have been chosen to carry out the analysis of the potential benefits derived from the use of the re-engineered model.