• Haines Consulting Group

The Real Thing: Transforming Food Traceability and Combating Food Fraud

The Real Thing is a highly innovative, integrated trace-and-trace solution for brands owners, leading the way in food authentication and traceability. Providing deep insights into how products are being interacted with in the supply chain and at point-of-sale, the solution links the digital world of product data with the IoT (Internet of Things), NFC (Near Field Communication) and QR code smart labels.

Through a leading technology solution, The Real Thing tackles traceability concerns, food fraud, supply chain contamination and waste, and POS promotions through Encrypted NFC labels anti-counterfeit (tap to view authenticity) and Temperature tracking (HACCP compliance).

Through the use of data-driven templates, The Real Thing Certified Australian™ ‘Smart Labels’ and ‘Smart Packaging Cloud’ provide a novel solution and offer millions of possible unique experiences at very little effort. Working with Blockchains to aggregate the data, The Real Thing provides a unified consumer experience, manifested as web pages, apps or displays on electronic shelf labels.

Traceability & Provenance

The COVID-19 pandemic shone a light on the vulnerability of our supply chains, with stifled imports and exports driving demand for greater supply chain traceability. Australian Farmers desire assurance that products are remaining at highest quality throughout the supply chain, while Australian consumers are increasingly concerned with the social, environmental and health impacts of food production.

The Real Thing provides end-to-end traceability, playing a key role in monitoring supply chains to ensure maintenance of product quality and ensuring that regulations are being met. Through enabling deeper insights and transparency into the processes behind products and product life cycle, The Real Thing’s technology assists importers in assuring that purchases meet community expectations. In addition to monitoring product movement and addressing any potential issues, the smart labels provide an innovative solution to identifying and eliminating potential bottlenecks to improve supply chain efficiency.

Addressing consumer concern for food original and potential biosecurity risks including pests and diseases, The Real Thing also enables traceable provenance information, made available through recording the geographic origin of quality produce and displaying verification. Through doing so, The Real Thing is leading the way in building consumer trust and added value to purchases and supply chain activities.


Costing Australian Farmers up to $2 billion per year, food fraud has become a major threat to Australia’s reputation for premium quality produce. It is well know that Australian branded exports have been victim to fraudulent and misappropriately labelled. Particularly within the red meat industry, fraudulent claims of foreign meats as Australian stem from the positive consumer attitudes towards quality and desirability of Australian Agriculture. This occurs at critical points throughout the supply chain, including transport, shipping, on-processing and at wholesale distributors. With increasing fraud vulnerabilities, consumer trust is being challenged. Not only does food fraud had an extensive economic impact, but also leads to public health risks and can severely damage brand reputation.

Through unique, inimitable, and flexible encoding of The Real Thing NFC tags, this solution simplifies authenticity, prevents substitutions, and reduces food fraud, supporting product claims in both domestic and international markets. The encrypted NFC tap technology provides a user-friendly way to stop counterfeit products and unauthorised distribution of your products. Through providing accessible and easy-to-use authentication of high-quality produce, The Real Thing’s shields producers from risks arising from biosecurity, fraud, food safety and market access, in a post COVID-19 world.

Food Waste and Sustainability Claims

With significant food wastage across the supply chain, greater transparency and tracking of a product’s journey plays a significant role in maintaining its level of quality and freshness and thereby, reducing food loss. The Real Thing utilises temperature tracking (HACCP Compliance) ranging from -50°C to +50°C, which enables high visibility and close monitoring of high value produce as it moves through critical points of the complex supply chain, notifying critical stakeholders when food is at risk. This is essential given the ability for a small, sustained change in temperature to significantly decrease the shelf-life of a product.

Furthermore, The Real Thing provides an accessible solution to verifying sustainability and waste claims through supply chain transparency. Consumers are increasingly concerned about sustainability of red meat supply chains, with evident knowledge gaps when it comes to the broader food production process. Thus, The Real Thing creates value for key stakeholders and customers through presenting and verifying information regarding sustainability and provenance in a digestible way that enabled consumers to make-informed decisions.


Beyond impacts on traceability, authenticity and waste elimination, The Real Thing’s integrated solution enables optimised customer experiences and engagement through product labels using both QR codes and NFC technology. Brands are able to educate consumers, build loyalty programs, run competitions, receive feedback, and connect with customers through social media. Due to the customer-centric mobile solution, The Real Thing are able to scale this technology to billions of products and millions of users.

For further information on traceability solutions for your business, contact Haines Consulting Group.


Haines Consulting Group is a management consultancy firm specialising in business strategy, growth, government grants and new venture developments. If you need any assistance with a Grant submission please contact us now for a confidential conversation.

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