from Neil Matthews, MD, Checkpoint Systems UK

Sir; I was pleased to see the announcements by Tesco and Wal-Mart with reference to the move into RFID-tagging of cases and pallets by their key suppliers over the next two to thee years.
We are looking forward to working with their suppliers on these initiatives.
RFID will no doubt bring huge benefits to both retailers and manufacturers once implemented across the total supply chain and provided that all parties collaborate in order to share costs and benefits.
But I think it important to clarify that “item level” RFID tagging is still six to 10 years off and even then will only be applied to more expensive items. Electronic Article Surveillance tags will therefore remain a very important tool to protect individual products.
So, these RFID initiatives will not affect the continuing moves by many retailers in Europe to install chain-wide EAS systems.
Nor will they affect the roll-out of comprehensive EAS source-tagging programmes with their suppliers.
This is still required in order to fight the large shrinkage issue across Europe which is now at a level of over 130bn.