MCC and Digimarc collaborate on food traceability and plastic recycling

multi colour and digimarc invented food label

Label solutions specialist Multi-Color Corporation and Digimarc, creator s of a platform for digital identification and detection, both longstanding AIPIA members, have announced a partnership to serialize product packaging and labels with Digimarc Barcode in support of food safety and traceability initiatives. 

In addition MCC, likewise a member of the Holy Grail project, is utilizing an additional application of Digimarc—non-serialized digital watermarking identities—with its client Orkla, a leading supplier of branded consumer goods in Europe and India, to improve the sortation of plastic and promote a circular economy, it says.

According to the US Department of Agriculture, recalls in the food industry cost on average $29 million each. To help mitigate the impact of these the companies have co-developed a hybrid printing method in which Digimarc Barcodes can be printed in large volumes. For example plastic clamshells containing berries, can be serialized with an enhanced label.  Quality control procedures ensure the barcode is scannable throughout the supply chain. So when consumer brands combine serialized products with an IoT management platform, individual packages can be traced back to their origin at a specific farm, as well as across the entire supply chain.

Traceability is essential for consumer brands and food manufacturers to promote consumer safety, mitigate risk and gain real-time insight into raw materials and product locations along the supply chain,” said Matthew Thomas, business development manager, MCC. “MCC’s expertise in digital and hybrid printing brings Digimarc’s serialized identities to life and at scale.”

For the plastics sortation project , in addition to using serialized barcodes, MCC owned Verstraete IML is working with Orkla to introduce Digimarc’s digital watermarking identities into packaging for one of  its product lines. The interactive IML (Injection Molding Labels) with the watermark can enable accurate and reliable scanning, to improve plastic sorting, and recovery.

“With this digital watermarking, we can alter how people view waste. Instead of just throwing an empty plastic bottle away, the consumer could scan it with their smartphone and be shown new possibilities,” said Pavel Komurka, packaging innovation and sustainability coordinator at Orkla. “Ideas and examples for reuse options is just one possibility.” 

“Our partnership with MCC provides a tangible way for consumer brands to get started on their traceability and recycling initiatives,” said Scott Wilcox, VP, client services, Digimarc. “It enables us to serialize packaging and labels and help support brands and retailers eager to modernize their supply chains and gain more control, safety and insight into their product work flows.”

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