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Two-dimensional barcodes could be the one barcode to rule them all, according to Mark Dingley, CEO of Matthews Australia. We caught up with him on video after his presentation at Print21 + PKN LIVE 2019.

Dingley highlighted a trial at Woolworths of 2D barcodes, which he says improve traceability and digital connectivity.

“The Woolworths announcement is evolutionary in the fact that 2D barcode at point-of-sale provides significant supply chain advantages. I’m keen to see how the pilot goes over the next couple of months, and then how that is going to be rolled out on fresh food in particular.

“We can pack a lot more into a 2D barcode, and that will have an impact on the supply chain,” he said, highlighting benefits such as more accurate product recalls.

Security was high on Dingley’s presentation agenda as he warned attendees that anti-fraud activity costs an estimated $50bn per year, and Australia’s good reputation is making our products a prime target for counterfeiters.

“Demonstrating that you have some form of technology wrapped around your products dramatically reduces your ability to be targeted,” he said.

Food waste was also on the list, with 2D barcodes able to provide more accurate use-by dates, according to Dingley; an estimated 40 per cent of all food produced in Australia goes to waste, resulting in $20bn in losses every year.

“It provides dynamic data – best-before date, use-by date. It’s about food safety: not consuming expired product, but also mitigating food waste.

“The strawberry crisis is a good example – the whole industry was impacted by a few affected businesses. The 2D barcode will give us the ability to have better transparency through the supply chain, and limit the damage that can be done,” he said.

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