The AgriPod project valorizes the intrinsic characteristics of locally farmed produce by giving consumers a visible access to the comprehensive information on origin and provenance.
Throughout the farming process of agricultural products detailed information about production processes are annotated: field and plant of origin, time of seeding and harvest, down to the person’s name involved in harvesting the lot and through the entire supply chain until it reaches a customer’s hand. This data can provide customer reassurance about origin, information regarding aspects such as distance traveled and can indicate energy and resource consumption as part of growth and production. Typically, however, this information is generated and maintained solely for the purpose of legal compliance and quality control and not shared publicly in all its detail. Furthermore, it is often recorded in a fragmented series of paper labels and not digitally available.
In collaboration with the Italian Agricultural Association COLDIRETTI and the two pilot companies Barducca (Vegetables) and Jolly Sgambaro (Pasta products), we have developed a prototypical digital system of supply chain and origin information for a number of their products. We then developed an RFID tagging interface that allows customers to swipe a product packaging in front of an information totem (consisting in RFID reader, connected computer system and touch screen) and access all the information about that specific food item. Information included was time and place of planting, harvest and of all the subsequent production steps, with additional information about the manufacturing context.
In this way the locally produced food item and its tagged packaging itself become the product’s ID card that contains all information to reassure and inform consumers about the intrinsic value of locally grown farm produce.
The below images show some of the screen interface displaying the produce related information, and some of the electronic components used for the RFID tag-reader interface.