Tasmanian cherries use fingerprint tech to reduce counterfeits
Tasmanian cherry grower Reid Fruits has announced a dramatic decline in product counterfeiting over the past three export seasons to Asia as a result of a Smart Fingerprint solution developed by Laava, in collaboration with digital printing specialist Peacock Bros.
“Counterfeiting is a massive issue for us, as well as for countless other Australian fresh fruit producers,” said Tim Reid, Managing Director, Reid Fruits. “The Smart Fingerprint technology offers a level of secure authentication that will make it extremely difficult for counterfeiters to replicate.”
Reid Fruits has been applying Laava’s patented Smart Fingerprint technology on its cherry boxes for 20 export markets from the 2019–20 picking season. Reid Fruits went from experiencing potentially thousands of counterfeits per season, to having 10 cases automatically stopped by the Laava platform in 2019–20, and only three in 2020–21 — a 60% reduction over the previous year.
“The fact that Reid Fruits has experienced such a dramatic decline in product counterfeiting activity demonstrates the direct benefit of the Smart Fingerprint technology. Not only does this identify instances of fraudulent activity, but counterfeiters soon realise that their actions will not go unnoticed if they try to copy Reid Fruits’ packaging to leverage their strong market reputation with a substituted and inferior product,” said Gavin Ger, Laava’s CEO.
Laava Smart Fingerprints are digitally printed by Peacock Bros using digital label printing and finishing technologies. The fingerprints use images that are uniquely generated to each individual product, and use proprietary optical scanning technology that is claimed to be more secure than a QR code. When a counterfeit cherry box is scanned by the consumer, a ‘Suspected Counterfeit’ message will be displayed on the consumer’s smartphone screen, alerting them to the product not being authentic, along with support information from Reid Fruits.
In the 2021–22 season, Smart Fingerprints were incorporated onto over 400,000 Reid Fruits cherry boxes bound for 20 global markets. A significant number of those boxes were sent to China, one of the company’s largest export markets and also the destination where the Australian business has historically encountered significant counterfeit challenges.
“Chinese consumers in particular are aware of issues associated with product counterfeiting and have a very strong appetite for product information and brand narratives that allow them to connect directly with Australian producers,” Reid said.
When consumers scan a Smart Fingerprint, they not only get a guarantee of the product’s authenticity, the digital platform also provides engaging content Reid Fruits can use to educate buyers on the product they have purchased, as well as the ability to serve up special offers and social media integration.
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