Tony Coad, Manager, Marketing and Sales, Reid Fruits, said:
“We had been searching for years for a solution to help us achieve our product integrity objectives, while also helping us tell our brand story at a commercially relevant price point.
Tasmania has an enviable reputation around the world for growing premium quality cherries. We started exporting cherries in 2005 and almost immediately our premium products were targeted by counterfeiters.
We had spent tens of thousands of dollars to prevent counterfeiting, switching to higher-quality packaging, using special processes such as embossing and foil on cartons, introducing a watermark on box bases and printing our logo on the long-life plastic liners that keep cherries fresh in the box. In the 2018 season, all these elements were copied within the first two weeks of our cherry boxes appearing in the global market.
Counterfeiting not only leads to a direct loss of sales for us, it also affects our importers and distributors. In 2018, one of our Chinese importers had his sales basically halved from the year before, he estimates he lost around A$400,000.
In addition to loss of revenue, counterfeiting puts Reid Fruits’ reputation at risk. If the counterfeit product is of an inferior quality – and they usually are – that can have a damaging long-term impact on our brand.
Our ongoing search for new anti-counterfeiting technology led us to ask Austrade for assistance. Austrade’s industry experts introduced our team to a number of companies offering innovative authentication solutions.
After an extensive assessment, we elected to work with Laava.
Laava is using a newer, higher standard of optical recognition which is not so easy to impersonate or replicate. We also wanted something that would be ready to roll out for the 2019–20 season and Laava’s technology was ready to go: they sent us an email with a product proposal and we could use our smartphones to test it immediately.”