Information supply is a recently emerging problem in the food supply chain – including restaurants/hotels/canteens as well as supermarkets. Consumers are becoming much more demanding, and want to know whether a product contains nuts or genetically modified food. There are several companies in the UK currently facing this kind of problem.
See previous post: Labelling as Service 1
One pattern is to separate the provision of information about a product/service from the provision of the product/service itself. Example: catalogue information. You get information about films from a catalogue server, not from the film server. We may also include information about the supply of the product (such as its price or delivery).
The early studies of video on demand assumed a separation of information from product into different technical channels, for reasons of bandwidth. One proposed solution was that the film itself would be transmitted by satellite or cable (one-way, high bandwidth), while control information would use the telephone line (two-way, low bandwidth). (Network engineers also have security in mind when they separate control from content.)
But the separation of the information supply chain from the product supply chain raises all sorts of commercial and legal concerns.