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Timely Federation forum

The Packaging Federation’s plans to form a multi-sectoral RFID working group are timely given pundits’ predictions that 2005 will be the year when RFID really begins to take off across the UK supply chain.

During a recent Federation-organised RFID forum in London, attended by senior supply chain representatives and personnel from GS1 UK [successor to e.commerce and barcoding body e.centre], participants agreed that while adoption is now a given, many packaging companies, including some of the sector’s largest players, are still finding their way with the technology. For them an industry forum providing impartial advice and shared experience could be an absolute godsend.

Also set to prove invaluable for existing and potential RFID users alike is June 7’s GS1 UK EPCglobal Conference and Exhibition, being held in conjunction with our sister magazine RFID Solutions. High profile sponsors are now in place, while speakers from the likes of Microsoft, Wal-Mart, Texas Instruments, Astra Zeneca, Gillette and Tesco and, it is hoped, a keynote address from a Minister, should make this an unmissable event. See page 3 for full details.

RFID, is, of course, just one of many ‘smart’ technologies observers predict will impact on packaging in the next few years. Rockware, for instance, [see page 3] is considering using smart labels on its glass food and drink packaging to make the shopping experience more informative and entertaining via a link-up with mobile phone video streaming technology.

Much has been written about smart packaging’s life-changing potential – but here is a concrete example of how the latest technology could enthuse consumers and potentially simultaneously substantially boost sales. There are certainly interesting times on the horizon.

Jonathan Baillie