eBale trial to track wool starting in Victoria

eBale trial to track wool starting in Victoria

TRACKING TRIAL: A trial of individual wool bale identification uses a QR code that enables reading by a smartphone using the AWEX WoolClip App. Photo supplied.

TRACKING TRIAL: A trial of individual wool bale identification uses a QR code that enables reading by a smartphone using the AWEX WoolClip App. Photo supplied.


Trials on individually identified wool bales will provide information and transparency to processors and consumers.


On farm trials of eBale identification will test the application and processes to track individually tagged wool bales through the supply chain.

The Australian Wool Exchange (AWEX) announced on farm eBale trials, with a Victorian clip one of two chosen for the pilot trial.

Each wool pack in the trial will have a "unique identifier (eBale-ID) stored on a combination RFID and QR Code tag placed on the bale label".

"The QR code has been chosen for on farm application, as it can be easily read by a smartphone using the AWEX WoolClip App," AWEX chief executive Mark Grave said.

"This means that there is no requirement to have additional technology/hardware on farm. The RFID is best used in higher volume environments (warehouses, carriers, dumps etc) where fixed and mobile scanners would be utilised."

Mr Grave said the announcement of a trial had already attracted interest from overseas processors who were keen to be involved.

He said success of the trial was about all levels from the farm to value adding to the supply chain from warehousing to shipping and overseas.

Agriculture always had the reputation globally for the quality of its products, including wool, he said.

He said consumers were increasingly demanding more information about the products they were buying.

The eBale identifier would provide confidence and transparency in the level of quality in production and clip preparation.

Mr Grave said the information gathered provided wool producers with good records.

"We want growers to contact their broker, agent or AWEX to be involved in the eBale trials. The more producers involved the quicker the process can be implimented," he said.

Each unique Bale-ID is linked to the contents of each bale of wool and captured (on farm) using AWEX's WoolClip App. The data is released to the marketing organisation (Broker) when the classer's specification is complete.

"The purpose of the eBale trial is to test, track and assess the progress of each uniquely identified bale of wool through the supply chain.

"Traceability, provenance and product integrity are major drivers in Australian agriculture today along with increased efficiencies in logistics. The level of interest in the potential application of eBale extends through the entire wool supply chain".

"In this first phase, we will carefully monitor the performance of the eBale tag, how it is used and its potential application at each location."

The eBale trial consisted of 10,000 tags containing a combination RFID/QR Code. The tags would be applied and captured on farm at the time of shearing. The trial will include a range of climates, wool types and clip sizes.

One tag is applied to each wool pack and the unique bale-ID is captured and added to the bale details, via the WoolClip App when adding bales to the Wool Book.

The unique Bale-ID will be read at various stages in the supply chain.

AWEX staff will be on hand at the start of shearing to provide training to shed staff including the classer, presser, contractor and grower on how to how to successfully participate in the eBale trial.

AWEX's WoolClip support services will be available to follow up with participants as each clip progresses through the system.

At the conclusion of the trial an independent cost benefit analysis will be completed.


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