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Radio frequency identification and food retailing in the UK

Peter Jones (University of Gloucestershire, Cheltenham, UK)
Colin Clarke‐Hill (University of Gloucestershire, Cheltenham, UK)
Daphne Comfort (University of Gloucestershire, Cheltenham, UK)
David Hillier (University of Glamorgan, Pontypridd, UK)
Peter Shears (School of Sociology, Politics and Law, University of Plymouth, Plymouth, UK)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Publication date: 1 June 2005



This paper aims to offer an outline of the characteristics of radio frequency identification (RFID) technology and briefly discusses some of its perceived benefits and challenges for food retailers in the UK.


The paper draws material largely from trade and practitioner sources and illustrates general themes with specific retail examples.


The paper suggests that RFID has the potential to offer food retailers a wide range of benefits throughout the supply chain including tighter management and control of the supply chain, reductions in shrinkage, reduced labour costs and improved customer service while also facilitating compliance with traceability protocols and food safety regulations. At the same time food retailers will need to address a number operational and strategic challenges and consumer privacy concerns before they can fully realise these benefits.


This paper provides a brief and accessible outline of the RFID developments in food retailing which will interest non‐specialists working in and in association with this sector of the retail marketplace.



Jones, P., Clarke‐Hill, C., Comfort, D., Hillier, D. and Shears, P. (2005), "Radio frequency identification and food retailing in the UK", British Food Journal, Vol. 107 No. 6, pp. 356-360.



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Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited