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Tracking pork products from farmers to retailers

To improve the safety of pork products in the Shandong Province of China, the Lushang Group is working with IBM to create a new monitoring system. The system is being tested at a number of sites now, and when fully deployed in 2013, will allow Lushang Group to observe and trace the movement of meat across all phases of the supply chain, including farms, processing plants, trucks and supermarkets.

Wang Guo Li, director of the National Agricultural Research Center for Modern Logistics Engineering in China, says, “When fully deployed, this system will give consumers in the Shandong Province confidence in the pork products they serve to their families. As an agricultural powerhouse within China, our province is committed to improving food safety, and this system marks a significant step toward that goal.”

Using IBM software that can extract and store actionable business information from millions of interconnected sensors, experts from the IBM China Development Lab and National Agricultural Research Center for Modern Logistics Engineering, have created a pork monitoring and tracking system that they say brings accountability and efficiency to every stage of the pork products process, including production, distribution and retail.

In the production process, barcodes and serial numbers are used so the packed pork products can be followed through the supply chain, and cameras monitor the production process until shipping. In the distribution process, Lushang Group has deployed temperature and humidity sensors, as well as global positioning and geographic information systems, to track trucks and monitor the temperature and humidity conditions in each refrigerated container. If conditions exceed thresholds, an alert prompts corrective action. The Lushang Group has addressed the final phase of the pork supply chain--the retailer--by helping supermarkets connect their enterprise resource planning (ERP) and point-of-sale systems to the platform, allowing tracking of every item sold.

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