In order to ensure food safety, Dole Food Company uses RFID technology to track produce from the field to the shelf. A unique combination of RFID and GPS technology allows Dole to ensure that its produce meets quality and safety standards. After evaluating their supply chain and dividing it into four phases, Dole partnered with Lowry Computer Products to integrate RFID to monitor fruit through the supply chain.
Phase one would track the raw materials from the point of harvest in the field to their arrival at one of Dole’s cooling facilities. Phase two would track produce from the cooling facility, in transport, to one of Dole’s four manufacturing facilities. Phase three would track the produce from its entrance to the manufacturing facility to a specific manufacturing line. Finally, phase four would monitor the movements of the raw materials within the manufacturing facility while they were processed, packaged, palletized and sent to one of Dole’s five warehouses for shipment to a retail location.
For phase one tracking, Lowry Computer Product chose Impinj Speedway Revolution readers for the cooling facility. Implementing RFID into this phase of the supply chain gave Dole greater insights into the origins of their crops, and how long it takes for produce to move from the harvesting site to the cooling facility. As RFID moves into phases two through four, it is expected that more manual tasks, such as scanning barcodes, will be eliminated, reducing labor costs and helping Dole achieve a return on their technology investment.