Tasmanian cherry producer Reid Fruits sees a drop in product counterfeiting over the past three export seasons to Asia by deploying a Smart Fingerprint solution developed by authentication technologist Laava with printing specialist Peacock Bros.
“Counterfeiting is a major issue for us, as well as countless other Australian fresh fruit growers,” said Tim Reid, managing director of Reid Fruits. “Smart Fingerprint technology provides a level of secure authentication that will make it extremely difficult for counterfeiters to replicate.”
Reid Fruits applied Laava’s patented Smart Fingerprint technology to its cherry boxes for 20 export markets starting in the 2019-20 picking season. The producer went from potentially thousands of counterfeits per season to 10 cases automatically stopped by the Laava platform in 2019-20, and just three in 2020-21 – a 60% reduction from the previous year.
“The fact that Reid Fruits has experienced such a dramatic decline in counterfeit product activity demonstrates the direct benefit of Smart Fingerprint technology. Not only does this help identify cases of fraudulent activity, but counterfeiters soon realize that their actions will not go unnoticed if they try to copy Reid Fruits’ packaging to leverage their strong reputation in the marketplace with a substitute and substandard product,” said Laava CEO Gavin Ger.
Laava Smart fingerprints are digitally printed by Peacock Bros. It uses digital label printing and finishing technologies. Smart fingerprints use images that are generated for each individual product and use proprietary optical scanning technology that is far more secure than a QR code.
When a box of counterfeit Reid Fruits cherries containing a counterfeit Laava Smart fingerprint is scanned by the consumer, a “Suspected Counterfeit” message appears on the consumer’s smartphone screen, warning them that the product is not not genuine, as well as support information from Reid Fruits.
“With consumers and brand owners in the Asia-Pacific region increasingly concerned about authenticity, solutions that validate products and limit counterfeit products in the supply chain will build buyer confidence and help protect the reputation and integrity of the brand,” said Ryan, Group Managing Director of Peacock Bros. McGrath.
“Securing products at the item level provides us with the framework for implementing emerging technologies such as connected packaging solutions that enable advances in consumer engagement (via augmented reality), tracking capabilities and product traceability and sustainability improvements within the supply chain.”
During the 2021-22 season, smart fingerprints were integrated into more than 400,000 boxes of Reid Fruits cherries, destined for 20 global markets. These boxes were sent to China, one of the company’s biggest export markets and also the destination where the Australian company has historically encountered significant counterfeiting problems.
“Chinese consumers in particular are aware of the issues around counterfeit products and have a very strong appetite for product information and brand stories that allow them to connect directly with Australian producers,” Reid said.
When consumers scan a smart fingerprint, they not only get a guarantee of product authenticity, but the digital platform also provides engaging content. Reid Fruits can educate shoppers about the product they purchased, along with the ability to offer special offers and social media integration.
“All of this was made possible cost-effectively and at incredibly high quality thanks to Peacock Bros’ digital label printing capabilities – and most importantly – it was easy for seasonal staff at Reid Fruits to apply to their existing cartons. , without changing business processes and without new technology,” concluded Ger.
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