Australian cold supply chain safety invention seeks funding

Smart-Trace is a disposable, credit-card-sized electronic tag that can be attached to selected pallet loads of food at dispatch for reporting in real time on exact temperature history and other storage variations during transit.

The tag is so responsive that it can monitor these temperature variations inside the truck, container and carton, such as over the truck’s wheels, or at a near-entry container door location. It can even immediately report on how long a refrigerated delivery truck has left its trailer door open.

According to the Australian technology developer Ceebron, one-third of perishable food produced is wasted somewhere during the transit from grower to the supermarket, as a result of inadequate storage and distribution temperature monitoring. This hidden cumulative abuse also causes the short shelf life of fresh products in the home refrigerator.

Certified trials by Ceebron indicate significant hidden variation of product temperature within loads by as much as 6°C.

Ceebron CEO and Smart-Trace inventor Don Richardson claimed no other product in the world could compete with the patented solution.

“So far, we’ve expended $6 million, which has seen us successfully through the development, testing and independent validation stages,” he said.

“However, what we need now is a further $2 million to cover the production costs to start to meet world demand. The Australian Government may provide some matching dollar support, but the current economic situation in Australia appears to have led to a loss of local business confidence.

“It’s a very modest investment when considered against the cost and health savings that will be achieved. It would be unfortunate if we can’t keep Smart-Trace all-Australian, but it seems that we might have to work with an overseas company to successfully get this product to market.”

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