Traceability Software Review > How to handle traceability in the fresh produce fruit & vegetable production industry:
Farm Inventory Traceability
The best way to maintain traceability of inventory is to capture the traceability details of inventory when it enters the farm. Information that should be captured includes supplier name, date of acquisition, batch or lot numbers, purchase order number, invoice number, storage location. Ensure your chosen farm software can capture these details efficiently.
Labeling Farm Inventory
Achieve maximum traceability by applying inventory labels to farming materials when they enter the farm. Labeling the inventory makes it easy for employees to simply reference the Inventory Number or scan the bar-code on the inventory label when the inventory is being consumed. This makes recording traceability details easy and rapid, therefore maximizing the possibility of employee participation in the traceability process.
Recording Farm Inventory When Used
The ease of use of your farm software solution will drastically effect its adaptation by employees. Ensure your chosen farm software solution includes the following features in relation to recording the inventory that has been used in the farming process:
- ability to scan inventory labels (using a smart phone or tablet or industrial phone/PDA) to record inventory used
- ability to reference inventory used by using an Inventory Number or Inventory ID
Farm Traceability Reporting
- Ensure your chosen farm software solution can provide the following traceability reports and tools:
- look up inventory traceability information using and Inventory Number
- look up where (areas of land, date, time, employee/s, application rate) inventory was used by using either Inventory Number, Supplier Name, Delivery Date, Suppliers Invoice Number, Purchase Order Number
- look up all plantings/crop instances and areas of land where a particular inventory was used
- A current buzzword in the food and agriculture sector is traceability. In simple terms, traceability is the ability to follow an item or group of items such as animals, plants and food products throughout the supply chain, from farm to fork.
- The growing demand for traceability in our food supply has been driven largely by supermarket chains and, to a lesser extent, the consumers who purchase their products. This so-called ‘honest food’ trend — what a product is, where it’s from and how it was grown — is already huge in Europe and important in Asia, where food safety is top of mind for some consumers in the wake of various scandals. Many experts are predicting a similar story to unfold here in North America soon too.
- Traceability poses both benefits and challenges for farmers regardless of the type of operation they have. On the one hand, it can mean a premium paid by the manufacturers and retailers who require this detailed information. It can also mean improved market access, improved operational efficiencies, and increased consumer confidence. Conversely, it can represent a significant expense and logistical challenge for producers to meet their buyers’ traceability requirements, whether that’s making sure a product doesn’t come into contact with other items or gathering and logging the data required by their buyers.