Wednesday, 16 December 2020 18:20

VIDEO Interview: Zebra’s A/NZ Country Lead, Tom Christodoulou, talks tech and the food supply chain

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Zebra Food Supply Chain Study - Tom Christodoulou is pictured. Zebra Food Supply Chain Study - Tom Christodoulou is pictured.

Zebra Technologies recently released its new study entitled "Closing the Trust Gap: Technology and the Food Supply Chain", and we spoke to Zebra's Country Lead for A/NZ, Tom Christodolou, about technology's importance to the supply chain and how consumer trust can be restored and maintained in the food supply we all take for granted.

Zebra Technologies. Since 1969, or 51 years ago, the company has grown so much today today, it "empowers the front line of business in retail/ecommerce, manufacturing, transportation and logistics, healthcare, public sector and other industries to achieve a performance edge".

The company proudly boasts of "more than 10,000 partners across 100 countries" and says it provides "better visibility through industry-tailored, end-to-end solutions that intelligently connect people, assets and data to help our customers make business-critical decisions".

One area that people might not know about with Zebra is its work in closing the trust gap with the food supply chain, and how technology helps to ensure food safety, so that what we get on the plate really did come from that particular paddock, and hasn’t been tampered with along the way.

The company’s most recent study is called “Closing the Trust Gap: Technology and the Food Supply Chain”, and as Zebra tells us, it “takes a look at the key pain points, trends and emerging technologies available to deliver the enhanced traceability needed to inspire consumer trust and enable greater operational efficiency and productivity for your business”.

After all, we’ve all heard of food scandals in China where infants were fatally drinking milk powder tainted with melamine, while in the US, animals eating contaminated pet food ended up dying, leaving devastated owners who did nothing wrong save to trust tinned food that had otherwise been perfectly fine for years.

In Australia, we had the issue of needles being placed into strawberries, tainting an entire industry and causing the loss of millions of dollars for the industry and supermarkets, while endangering consumers and depriving them of the summer fruit they loved that season.

Therefore, it’s absolutely no surprise that Zebra tells us “food safety is a top priority for both consumers and food and beverage industry decision-makers; yet consumers have significantly lower levels of trust about the industry’s ability to ensure food and beverage safety”.

To learn more, iTWire interviewed Tom Christodoulou, Zebra’s Country Lead for Australia and New Zealand, who told us about the study and Zebra’s role in securing the supply chain and helping strengthen food security for all on a global basis.

After the video, I have a summary of the questions and topics we covered, so please read on!

I started by introducing Tom and welcoming him, and asking him to briefly tell us about Zebra’s Australia Customer Summit in early November and how it went.

We then moved onto Zebra’s Food Safety Supply Chain Vision Study, where we talked about the importance of supply chains, which have never been under more pressure than today thanks to the pandemic and the badly affected logistics industry, as well as some of the study’s top findings.

We talked about various issues the study highlighted, including the disjoint between consumer trust and supply chain resilience, and how the industry can rekindle this trust.

We then spoke about the future and what things might look like by 2030, great advice that Tom has received in life, and his final message for iTWire viewers and readers, and for his current and future customers and partners.

To learn more, you can download the “Closing the Trust Gap: Technology and the Food Supply Chain” study here, and please watch the video above!

Here’s Zebra’s infographic:


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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