July 12, 2007

 

Shrimp company first to try RFID technology in Thailand

 

 

Chanthaburi Frozen Food, a major shrimp exporter in Thailand, has become the first shrimp export company in Thailand to try out radio frequency identification (RFID) technology on its production process.

 

The company would be trying out the technology supplied by a group of local companies in a pilot project, the Nation reported.

 

The companies include IE Technology, Silicon Craft Technology and FXA Company.

 

Chanthaburi said RFID would build an advantage for local shrimp-exporters to compete globally in food safety and traceability.

 

The THB14.6 million (US$477,000) project would be implemented in two plants- Chanthaburi Frozen Food and CP Frozen Food.

 

Ronarit Prachet, assistant plant manager of Chanthaburi, said the high volume of production, the multiple suppliers and the variety of products makes RFID a necessity in the production process. 

 

Chanthaburi's plant receives 50 to 60 tonnes of shrimp a day from about 20 farms and churns out more than 100 different items through a complex production line.

 

RFID has been deployed to monitor frozen-shrimp safety at each step of production, from fresh products arriving at the production facilities through to the finished products.

 

The barcode on every package of finished products can be used for tracking which farm the shrimps came from and when they were harvested.

 

Previously, the company's manual traceability system took a whole day to trace a product and was error-prone, unlike the electronic system.

 

The plant's RFID terminals are connected to the local computer server which is linked to the head office in Bangkok.

 

Weerasak Jetpipattanapong, assistant managing director of the marketing department, said this allows the head office in Bangkok to do real-time monitoring and trace the entire process easily. This information can be analysed and used for management purposes as well.

 

Implementing RFID in the production plant assures customers on food safety and makes them confident about the company's products, which gives the company a first mover's advantage, said Weerasak.

 

Chanthabuti Frozen Food is under Patana Group's frozen-seafood export business, which also includes Phatthana Seafood, Chanthaburi Seafood and Phatthana Frozen Food.

 

Up to 95 percent of the group's products are exported, mainly to Japan, the EU, Australia, US and Canada.

 

The group's aims to achieve a 25 percent increase in revenue from THB 8 billion (US$261 million) to THB 10 billion this year (US$327 million), most of it coming from Chanthaburi Frozen Food.

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