WASHINGTON, DC — May 20, 2002 — The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) announced today that it has become the new administrator of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Automatic Data Capture 1 Technical Advisory Group (FMI-ADC1 TAG), whose mission is to help facilitate supply-chain technology innovation worldwide.

Together with the 32 technology companies and consultants in this initiative, FMI will help ensure that automatic identification and data capture (AIDC) technologies improve supply-chain efficiency and effectiveness. The initiative centers on four technologies:

  • Bar Codes — covering current codes and enhancements.
  • Biometrics — used to verify customer identification and track agricultural products by identifying unique physical characteristics.
  • Electronic article surveillance (EAS) — anti-shoplifting systems.
  • Radio frequency identification (RFID) — an emerging technology that can automate shopping transactions and track products throughout the supply chain. It uses processor chips embedded in packages that uniquely identify individual products.

“Just as the food industry standardized the Universal Product Code (U.P.C.) so pivotal to the success of scanning,” said FMI President and CEO Tim Hammonds, “we hope to play the same role, ensuring that 21st century technologies can be applied worldwide across all industries.”

“We look forward to working with the 32 current members of this group and invite all companies interested in AIDC technologies to join our initiative.”

As administrator, FMI will join with other members in reviewing and proposing how to apply AIDC technologies. They will advise ANSI how to enhance their effectiveness. ANSI will then use this guidance to set global technology standards with the International Organization of Standardization (ISO).

The ISO works with ANSI and similar groups in 140 countries to promote worldwide cooperation in the spheres of intellectual, scientific, technological and economic activity.

At the Dawn of an Explosion in New Technologies

“We’re at the dawn,” said Hammonds, “of an explosion in technologies that can dramatically enhance productivity and consumer service. If we act now to make emerging technologies compatible and error-free, consumers and industry alike will benefit from the enormous savings, value and convenience that such innovations promise.”

As ADC1 administrator, FMI will focus on four areas of innovation with a task group assigned to each:

  • Data Carrier — standardize carriers such as bar-code symbols and radio frequency (RF) technologies.
  • Data Structure — standardize how product data are identified and structured throughout the supply chain.
  • Conformance — ensure that common tests can assess the performance of symbols and RFID technologies.
  • Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) — evaluate RFID systems, identify technology needs and create standards essential to their progress.

“The importance of this initiative,” said Hammonds, “appears immediately when you consider that 80 percent of global commerce is now affected by technological standards. That figure will soon near the 100 percent mark given the Internet-speed pace of innovation today.

“We know that when standards are developed correctly — creating basic technological platforms that are open to innovation — the results can exceed our greatest expectations. FMI is both highly committed and honored to take on this challenge for the technologies of the Information Age.”

Companies interested in joining the FMI-ADC1 TAG should contact Ted Mason at FMI (202-220-0735; jmason@fmi.org).