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Publix to Participate in Fresh Produce RFID Pilot

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Publix plans to join the University of Florida IFAS's Center for Food Distribution and Retailing (CFDR), and electronic trading solutions provider RedTail Solutions, Inc., in a research pilot featuring RFID technology and network-based information exchange to improve the distribution of fresh produce.

The pilot, being called Visibility Validated (V2), will measure the impact of improved supply chain visibility between suppliers and retailers. The V2 project is focused on the publishing of observation events to a virtual test bed simulation of the EPCglobal network, according to RedTail Solutions.

Publix did not return phone calls seeking further comment yesterday.

The goal of the project is to show how EPCglobal-based RFID technology will provide valuable supply chain visibility, said RedTail. All tracked shipments will be received at the Publix distribution center in Lakeland. Produce suppliers involved in this project include: Del Monte Fresh Produce, N.A., Inc.; Tanimura & Antle, Inc.; A. Duda & Sons Inc.; and Ballantine Produce Co.

RedTail said it is developing the business intelligence interface to work with VeriSign's Track and Trace Services.

The UF/IFAS Research Center for Food Distribution and Retailing is the first Research Center of its kind worldwide to focus on perishables distribution and retailing, said RedTail. Located at the University of Florida in Gainesville, the Center includes more than 25 faculty researchers plus associated students and staff involved in research and development involving the entire perishable distribution system from product source to retail shelves.
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