Close
 

QR codes help fight against counterfeiting

  • News
  • February 9, 2016
  • Erin McKenzie
QR codes help fight against counterfeiting

Kiwi company Trust Codes is helping New Zealand and Australian brands protect their reputation from product counterfeits and recalls by placing a serialised QR code on product packaging, which allows consumers to verify the authenticity of what they're buying.   

New Zealand exported $6.19 billion of beef and lamb during the year ending September 2015 and $12 billion of milk powder, butter and cheese in the year ending June 2015, according to Statistics New Zealand. While these products are a vital part of New Zealand’s economy, they are also some of the most counterfeited foods in the world according to Trust Codes CEO Paul Ryan.

To put the extent of this risk into perspective, Ryan says wine and oil are counterfeited so much that the Italian Mafia make more money off those fakes than they do from drugs.

With counterfeits posing a real threat to a brand's reputation, Ryan says Kiwi and Australian manufacturers are using the codes to share information with international customers including the products make and supply chain.

“The brand is able to show, particularly to the Chinese consumer, that they can trust in the security of the product, so the product is genuine, and it has been made in Australia or New Zealand,” says Ryan.

While he cannot name New Zealand exporters using the code technology, Australian infant formula producer Camperdown have been public about putting codes on its tins as a way of reassuring their Chinese customers that the product they are giving their child is real.


 

“It’s why we are called a ‘Trust’ Code,” says Ryan. “We are trying to create this trust view, if I’m buying a Camperdown product then I can trust this brand because they are taking steps to protect me.”

Even if suppliers of the fake products go to the effort to make their own fake code, Ryan says their IP address will be exposed, giving the Chinese government the upper hand in their hunt for counterfeiters.

“If you want to make up a product and fake trust codes barcode and go to all the effort to do that, you’ve still got to host that solution somewhere and you will get caught.”

Being able to inform customers of a product's history not only helps to combat the counterfeit product market, it is also useful in situations when food products are recalled.

When Fonterra pulled its exported milk-products off the shelf in 2013, after it emerged they were potentially contaminated with botulism, it was criticised for being unable to identify where in the world the products in question were located and for having no-well prepared group crisis plan to implement. Ryan says had Trust Codes been in use the dairy giant would have been able to engage with consumers and say, “‘this product is safe’ or, ‘this product is not safe’”.

Because Trust Codes are serialised and can be updated at anytime with information from the manufacturer, the brand in question can take control of the situation in a very targeted way.

“If there is a recall on that batch for example and we know that serial number is part of a batch we are able to say to our customer ‘return it to the store’ or at least ‘don’t use it’,” Ryan says.

To some degree, Ryan's application of QR codes is a return to what they were originally developed to do. While they have become somewhat maligned in recent years for being unused tech trinkets slapped onto campaigns, they originated in Japan to serve the utilitarian purpose of tracking automotive parts during the car manufacturing process.

Closer to home, Trust Codes have yet to grace the shelves of New Zealand supermarkets, but Ryan says there is a place for the technology in the domestic market, just as much as there is in the international market.

Last year, the Ministry for Primary Industries listed 23 products being recalled from the shelves of New Zealand supermarkets and Ryan thinks the threats made last year to contaminate infant formula with 1080 should “drive greater acceptance” for brands looking to use the codes here.

During a food safety scare Ryan says people tend to “play safe” and will avoid the entire industry or country, providing an opportunity for brands using codes to engage customers and regain their trust.

“If another company recalls we can target consumers and say we are not that brand, so it works both ways.”

Trust Codes are in discussion over domestic products now, and Ryan says implementation is likely in "due course".

This story was originally published on StopPress.

​ ​

This is a community discussion forum. Comment is free but please respect our rules:

  1. Don’t be abusive or use sweary type words
  2. Don’t break the law: libel, slander and defamatory comments are forbidden
  3. Don’t resort to name-calling, mean-spiritedness, or slagging off
  4. Don’t pretend to be someone else.

If we find you doing these things, your comments will be edited without recourse and you may be asked to go away and reconsider your actions.
We respect the right to free speech and anonymous comments. Don’t abuse the privilege.

 

Who stole Christmas?

  • News
  • March 21, 2019
  • Kelly Withers
Who stole Christmas?

Results are starting to trickle in from Christmas 2018/2019, and for many retailers, they're a little disappointing. Paydar chief executive and co-founder Kelly Withers explores the data.

Read more
 
 

Chinese businesspeople raise millions for Christchurch victims

  • News
  • March 21, 2019
  • Radio New Zealand
Chinese businesspeople raise millions for Christchurch victims

A group of visiting Chinese businesspeople have raised $2.35 million for victims of the Christchurch mass shooting.

Read more
 
 
News

The Retail NZ Awards: What does it take to be a winning retailer?

Take this time to shine with the upcoming Retail NZ awards, a chance to show the retail industry what makes your business stand out. No ...

 

Social scoreboard

Zavy and The Register have worked together to create a scoreboard that compares how the top 25 traditional media advertising spenders in New Zealand have performed on social media over the past 30 days, updated in real time.

 
topics
Concept to closet
Business coverage of New Zealand Fashion Week.
Town centres
A positive retail environment over the past 12 ...
Amazon Arrival
Keeping up with all things Amazon as it ...
The Retail Yearbook 2017
As we battle our way through the busiest ...
Hospitality enhancing retail
Some think food and integrated hospitality offerings will ...
The future is bright
We spoke with four retailers in their twenties ...
Spotlight on signage
At first glance, the humble in-store sign might ...
Red Awards 2016
The Red Awards for retail interior design celebrate ...
Auckland Unitary Plan
Auckland is changing. The Unitary Plan will decide ...
How to open a store
Sarah Dunn considers what it would take to ...
All things to all people
Kiwi retailers share their omnichannel strategies.
Rising stars
Retail's top young achievers.
Delivering on your promises
The sale isn't over until your item is ...
Retail in heartland New Zealand
Retailers keep the regions pumping, but how strong ...
Sisterhood
Women in retail help one another. We spoke ...
The changing face of retail
Shifting demographics are creating big changes in New ...
The retail yearbook
With the help of experts in the retail ...
Retail rogues
We put the spotlight on staff training. Jai ...
Here come the giants
Topshop has arrived in Auckland’s CBD, David Jones ...
Window shopping: A spotlight on social media
Sarah Dunn and Elly Strang look at how ...
From retail to e-tail
Ecommerce has become part of the way mainstream ...
Loyalty in the digital age
How are retailers maintaining loyalty? Sarah Dunn, Elly ...
The Innovators | In partnership with Spark Business
Technology is rapidly changing the retail industry as ...
 

Hunting & Fishing New Zealand voluntarily pulls military-style assault weapons from sale

  • News
  • March 20, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
Hunting & Fishing New Zealand voluntarily pulls military-style assault weapons from sale

In the wake of the attack on Christchurch’s Muslim community on March 15, strong calls for changes to New Zealand’s gun last have been made. Trade Me was the first retailer to act, halting the sale of all semi-automatic weapons on its platform, and it has now been joined by Hunting & Fishing New Zealand.

Read more
 
 

Superette to open new concept store showcasing international brands

  • News
  • March 20, 2019
  • The Register team
Superette to open new concept store showcasing international brands

Apparel boutique Superette has announced it will open an ‘international flagship’ in Newmarket on April 4. The store will feature handpicked products from both established and emerging international designers.

Read more
 

What businesses can do to help support Christchurch and the Muslim community this week

  • Opinion
  • March 19, 2019
  • Rosie Collins
What businesses can do to help support Christchurch and the Muslim community this week

As many New Zealanders go back to work for the first time today since Friday’s attacks, feelings of anger, sadness, numbness, apprehension, and confusion will be shared around the country. Rosie Collins is the managing director of Step Changers, a registered charity working to normalise corporate social responsibility in New Zealand. In the wake of the Christchurch terror attack, she shares three ways businesses can help both their staff and the wider Muslim and Christchurch community this week.

Read more
 
Next page
Results for
Topics
Jobs
About us.

The Register provides essential industry news and intelligence, updated daily. And the digital newsletter delivers the latest news to your inbox twice a week — for free!

©2009–2015 Tangible Media. All rights reserved.
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy policy.

Advertise
The Register

editor@theregister.co.nz

Content marketing/advertising? Email anita.hayhoe@icg.co.nz or call 022 639 3004

View Media Kit

}