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In regards to manufactured goods as well as agricultural produce and livestock, "traceability" (a composite word formed from "trace" and "ability") is the ability to, for example, ascertain the destination of individual products and verify their source, tracked back through records, by means of saving point-to-point records at every step of a process. When problems with manufactured goods occur, traceability allows cause investigation plus follow-up and recovery to be performed easily. Moreover, it also has the merit that the safety and quality of products can be easily checked from the consumer side. Schemes exploiting IT such as electronic tags and the Internet from the viewpoint of efficiency are being made available.

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