Sunday, April 22, 2007
"You know the price of a jar of fair-trade coffee before you reach the checkout, but how can you be sure of its ethical cost? Now techniques are being developed to tag goods with information about their entire production history, to reassure consumers that what they are buying has genuinely been ethically made. The researchers are exploring techniques to store information in barcodes, to be read by consumers using hand-held readers such as camera phones. Products would be tagged when they are made and further information added at each point in the production process, for example, how much the item cost the trader and how much it was sold on for."