AUSTRALIA’S ACCOLADE TO APPLY “COVERT TRACERS” EMBEDDED IN QR CODES TO COMBAT CHINESE COUNTERFEITS
By Susan Lewis
Australia's biggest wine producer Accolade Wines has signed a deal with anti-counterfeit company YPB to apply “covert tracers” to its premium wines to combat counterfeit problems in the China market.
The deal is a three year plus two year option Master Supply Agreement to provide Accolade Wines with YPB’s integrated brand protection and customer engagement technology suite, YPB Group said in its website.
It was said that Accolade will initially introduce YPB’s ProtectCode system in the Grant Burge range of wines. Upon successful implementation and in-field performance, Accolade may extend the solution to other premium brands in its portfolio.
The technology can help producers apply “covert tracers” made from polymer nanocomposites to QR codes.
It allows wine producers to track and trace every bottle and batch of their wines throughout the entire supply chain using a small handheld scanner.
At the point of sales, customers can use a smartphone app to scan the QR code, the “covert tracer” will take the customer to a quick digital authentication process.
If the wine is genuine they see a screen that says its authentic; if it’s fake they will be taken to a screen where they can report it back to the wine producer.
"It's a breakthrough for YPB as it is the largest wine opportunity we have ever had. It will validate the need for this solution in the China market," said YPB CEO John Houston.
In April 2018, Accolade Wines was acquired by Carlyle Group with a clear strategy of developing Accolade’s brands in Asia and China in particular.
Following the discovery of 14,000 bottles of fake Penfolds wine in China last November, it has become more urgent for Australian producers to come up with feasible authentication solutions.
Australia’s wine trade body, Wine Australia, conducts around 300 audits of wineries a year in Australia and enforces strict export controls, however the sale of counterfeit wine in China is outside its jurisdiction.
Wine Australia encourages exporters to apply anti-counterfeit technologies, but would not support any particular solution because they see strength in diversity.
(the writer can be contacted at: SusanLewis@thewinechronicle.com)
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