RFID‐enabled traceability in the food supply chain

Thomas Kelepouris (Auto‐ID Lab, Institute for Manufacturing, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK)
Katerina Pramatari (Department of Management Science and Technology, Athens University of Economics and Business, Athens, Greece)
Georgios Doukidis (Department of Management Science and Technology, Athens University of Economics and Business, Athens, Greece)

Industrial Management & Data Systems

ISSN: 0263-5577

Publication date: 20 March 2007



This paper aims to study the main requirements of traceability and examine how the technology of radio frequency identification (RFID) technology can address these requirements. It further seeks to outline both an information data model and a system architecture that will make traceability feasible and easily deployable across a supply chain.


The design research approach is followed, associating traceability requirements to a proposed system design.


The technological approach used has great implications in relation to the cost associated with a traceability system and the ease of its deployment.

Research limitations/implications

Validation of the proposed information data model and system architecture is required through practical deployment in different settings.

Practical implications

The paper provides practitioners with insight on how RFID technology can meet traceability requirements and what technological approach is more appropriate.


Food quality has become an important issue in the last decade. However, achieving end‐to‐end traceability across the supply chain is currently quite a challenge from a technical, a co‐ordination and a cost perspective. The paper contributes by suggesting a specific technological approach, exploiting the new possibilities provided by RFID technology, to address these issues.



Kelepouris, T., Pramatari, K. and Doukidis, G. (2007), "RFID‐enabled traceability in the food supply chain", Industrial Management & Data Systems, Vol. 107 No. 2, pp. 183-200. https://doi.org/10.1108/02635570710723804

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Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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