• (l-r) Matthews Australasia's Mark Dingley with FreshChain's Greg Calvert.
    (l-r) Matthews Australasia's Mark Dingley with FreshChain's Greg Calvert.
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On the Matthews Australasia stand at AUSPACK today, CEO Mark Dingley announced the company's new strategic partnership with FreshChain Systems, enabling end-to-end fresh food traceability from farm to fork, and delivering rich data insights.

The partnership aims to support producers and brand owners in their ability to grow sales through fostering consumer trust with greater transparency, and opening up new markets by exceeding digital traceability and proof of provenance requirements.

The announcement was captured on video here:

“In essence, this strategic partnership combines the strength of Matthews best-in-class, on-demand printing and labelling solutions, with FreshChain’s Australian-owned and recognised digital end-to-end fresh food traceability and provenance platform,” said Mark Dingley. 

“The results for our combined customers are rich, real-time data insights. It is also providing brand owners with the opportunity to connect the physical packaging to the digital mobile world that consumers are now expecting.” 

Greg Calvert, co-founder and director of FreshChain, said the goal was to ensure fresh food was both safe to eat and of the highest quality.

“This collaboration brings together the best technology to allow producers to seamlessly link critical data through the supply chain, and provide consumers full assurance around product authenticity, freshness and provenance,” said Calvert. 

“Back-and-forth traceability could be done in just minutes with supply chain partner involvement, significantly mitigating risk and costs in the event of a biosecurity threat or product recall. Also, producers have the ability to connect with consumers and thus gain direct feedback on product attributes and environmental credentials.

“This partnership will also lower producers’ cost of doing business by streamlining and digitising existing manual processes with the ability to identify, capture and share relevant data quickly and accurately through the supply chain using global standards.”

Dingley added that further benefits were a single solution for date code, traceability and provenance requirements, along with consumer marketing.

“This provision of valuable data insights gives producers solid data to action, and thus offers the opportunity to improve their quality offering,” he continued. 

“This industry-leading expertise in future barcoding requirements will benefit all customers, and brings the peace of mind of nationwide coverage and 27/7 support.” 

Four simple steps

The technology and data delivered via the partnership follows four simple steps.

Firstly, FreshChain supplies serialised and encrypted codes that Matthews’ converts to a unique QR code embedded with GS1 Digital Link URI using its printing and labelling technologies.

The serialised and unique codes can be linked to all levels of packaging using 2D barcoding for track-and-trace capabilities from consumer units to crates and pallets.

Next, via smartphones or other devices, consumers can scan this QR code with GS1 Digital Link URI to access key product information on the FreshChain platform, such as its journey and attributes, and sustainability credentials. 

The third step involves he brand owner’s ability to choose to give multiple supply chain partners access, with the intention to improve quality. 

These supply chain partners could also be retailers, carriers or government agencies, who can then support a critical food incident should that arise – with access being based on relevance to the issue. 

Finally, insights for businesses include visibility both upstream and downstream, freshness index, chain-of-custody metrics, consumer ratings, global scan locations, and comparing varietal quality metrics based on location, time of year, growing methods and carriers.

“Matthews’ vision is to enable Australian makers and movers to provide their products to consumers safely and efficiently, while the FreshChain platform supports fresh produce brand owners to better understand their products’ journey and performance at a serialised unit level,” Dingley explained. 

“With the reliable, high-quality and innovative machinery, and software in the joint solution, it provides greater opportunity for businesses to enhance, streamline and secure their production process from farm to fork.

“Both companies are very pleased to announce this partnership, which offers producers many benefits. We’ve chosen to do so at AUSPACK, with much of the industry, including customers of both businesses here.”

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