Microsoft Joins CIES to Further Improve Food Safety

Barcelona, Spain, Feb. 2, 2004 — Today at the CIES International Food Safety Conference, Microsoft announced that it has become a member of CIES The Food Business Forum, the independent global food business network, as part of its commitment to the food industry to support the efforts of food retailers and manufacturers to use technology innovatively.

We are proud to welcome Microsoft among our members and look forward to the benefits this industry giant, with its unparalleled record of continuous innovation, can bring to the highly complex and sensitive area of traceability, which is of fundamental importance for our sector and for consumers, says Alan McClay, chief operating officer, CIES. In the event of a food alert, the key factor for the food business is the ability to withdraw or recall the affected product. A sound and reliable system of traceability is not just desirable, it’s a prerequisite.

In particular Microsoft has been working on food safety systems in conjunction with its partner Trace One, a leading provider of integrated quality and traceability information management applications for retailers and their suppliers, which include Carrefour, Auchan and Casino. Using Microsoft technology, Trace One has developed applications which help retailers and suppliers to convey information relating to product content on-line in a highly secure environment. The system also enables use of electronic signatures for documents and deploys traceability stations.

According to Maurice Aboukrat, director general of strategy and technology, Trace One,
“Our collaboration with Microsoft has allowed us to gain a leading position, offering a very specialised product that addresses a highly sensitive issue.”

Michl Annink, Retail Industry Group Manager for Microsoft EMEA, comments that

companies need to be scrupulous about traceability from field to table, providing the customer with as much information as possible about their purchases. Within a large supermarket group product recalls can have a huge impact both logistically and economically. Traceability systems need to allow users to handle these events, quickly and efficiently, so that any serious health issues are minimised, or even allayed, before they reach the consumer.

“Putting the consumer first is central to our recently launched Smarter Retailing Initiative which has been created to help retailers improve how they sell and operate, and provide a technology and solutions framework for enabling the next generation of retail innovation.”

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software – any time, any place and on any device.

Microsoft is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries. Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

About Microsofts Smarter Retailing Initiative

The Microsoft Smarter Retailing Initiative helps retailers win today by leveraging current investments, and win tomorrow by easing delivery of new retail experiences. Consisting of Smarter Shopping, Smarter Selling and Smarter Operations, the Smarter Retailing Initiative is designed to close the loop between the retailer’s strategy, the in-store execution and familiar technologies already in the consumer’s hands. More information can be found at .

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