Australia's Woolworths Abandons RFID Plan To Trace Produce Crates

Australia's Woolworths, which runs the country's largest supermarket chain, has given thumbs up to one RFID trial and thumbs down to another, according to a wonderfully detailed story in RFID Journal.

"The retail giant tested UHF EPC Gen 2 tags at selected supermarkets and supplier distribution centers to determine the economic viability of a wider rollout," the story said, quoting Wayne Ellison, Woolworths' RFID project manager, and pointing out that Woolworths "intends to extend its temperature-sensing pilot but has abandoned plans to roll out RFID to track and trace produce crates for now because it still sees the technology as being too expensive. The current economic viability is also a challenge, with the overall cost of the solution—including tags, casings and infrastructure—still quite high. The overall cost for a company the size of Woolworths is still too high, and the return on investment for track and trace is just not enough for us to race ahead."