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Fresh Produce Traceability Bar-code
Fresh Produce Traceability is much more than applying a label to the packed fruit or vegetable. FarmSoft delivers strict fresh produce traceability guidelines for supply chain end to end food safety & transparency.
Ensuring that the traceability chain has no gaps in it is important to reduce the risk exposure of your business. If there is a breach in the traceability chain, then the whole traceability enforcement system has failed and becomes a pointless expense. FarmSoft ensures 100% accuracy of traceability throughout the entire life-cycle of fresh produce, from pre-planting, to post sales traceability guideline adherence. FarmSoft ensures your business is not unnecessarily exposed, while minimizing compliance costs.
FarmSoft Packhouse Management software provides a strong platform for accurate recording of fresh produce traceability records, via a variety of easy and logical methods. Risk exposure to the pack shed is greatly reduced by having resolution traceability guideline compliance, which in turn reduces financial exposure to the packhouse should a recall become necessary. Accurate fresh produce traceability reduces the quantity of fruit/vegetables in a recall, and therefore reduces the businesses financial exposure. High traceability helps to open new markets for fresh produce, and improves customer confidence in product quality.
Best practice standards for fresh produce traceability such as BRC, GlobalGAP, ISO, HACCP, CanGAP, EuroGAP, (and many more) are supported by FarmSoft, making compliance and audits easy and less expensive.
The FarmSoft fresh produce traceability system constitutes thousands of processes & guidelines that are integrated throughout the entire system, guiding users to record correct fresh produce traceability details at the correct time.
FarmSoft Packhouse Management’s “Traceability” module isn’t a stand alone module. Traceability is built into the core of FarmSoft, in every process, action, and document. FarmSoft minimizes the data capture and entry costs associated with fresh produce traceability using various innovative techniques.
Download the FarmSoft Packhouse Software brochure or watch the fruit packing video.
Pack sheds and packhouses are experiencing new levels of regulatory control in the pack shed and packhouse processes for fruit and vegetables. Contemporary industrialized fruit and vegetable packing has become increasingly regulated over the past decade. There are now literally hundreds of thousands of regulations world wide that relate to the Traceability and Food Safety of the production of fruit and vegetables for human consumption.
FarmSoft provides an easy to use fresh produce traceability software by integrating the worlds most common fresh produce traceability and food safety and traceability guidelines into the every day operations management.
FarmSoft Fresh Produce Traceability Software manages every facet of fresh produce traceability for a wide range of fruit, vegetable, coffee, flower, hop, and other fresh produce packing requirements. Combine FarmSoft Packhouse software with FarmSoft Farm Management ERP to create seamless traceability from pre planting to post pack shed sales.
FarmSoft Packhouse & Pack Shed Software ensures that all fruit and vegetable (and other types of fresh produce) are labeled and traced upon arrival at the Packhouse or Pack Shed.
Fruit and vegetables can be barcoded upon delivery to the Packhouse (or labeled in the field if chosen). The barcode will identify the fresh produce for its entire lifecycle ensuring strict adherence to traceability levels such as GlobalGAP, PTI – Produce Traceability Initiative, HACCP, ISO, BRC, FarmSafe, and more.
Fresh produce is scanned when sorted in the pack shed, this ensures Packhouse and Pack Shed managers know where all produce is at all times, and are able to view the history of the movement of fruit and vegetables to trace any potential contamination points that may occur during the pack shed or Packhouse processes.
FarmSoft Fresh Produce Traceability Software provides an extremely high level of traceability management and transparency; all the way to the individual piece of fruit if chosen. Traceability labels can be applied at many levels throughout the packing and manufacturing/value add process.
Fresh produce traceability recalls can be performed on these items:
- Trace batch input materials and recall through supply chain to customer
- Individual fruit/vegetable piece (based on piece label)
- Packed finish product recall
- Pallet recall
- Invoice recall
- Purchase Order (for source or batch input goods) recall
- Suppliers Reference recall
- Supplier Company recall
- Manufacturer recall
- Farming block/area recall (Requires FarmSoft Farm solution)
Contact a FarmSoft consultant today to start improving your fresh produce traceability and packing processes.
Fresh Produce Traceability features
- Traceability can start at the point of purchase order creation for inventory, or can start at the point delivery of produce from a supplier, back on the farm, before planting has taken place (if you are using FarmSoft Farm Management).
- Choose from various traceability frameworks to implement based on your traceability and food safety standards and regional requirements.
- Automated traceability reduces paperwork and compliance costs
- Capture and archive (for rapid recall) all traceability records related to use of materials, employees, equipment – suitable for use with CANGap, HACCP, GlobalGAP, BRC, EureoGap FarmSafe, PTI , ISOx and more…
- Materials and inventory can be issued with system generated Inventory ID labels which contain a unique Inventory Number that relates to the inventories traceability details. The Inventory Number can be recorded via a mobile device when used, or entered onto a task sheet for later entry; this method makes recording of inventory very rapid and accurate.
- Individual task Quality Check by QC officer, including time, officer, date, and notes (see FarmSoft Quality Control)
- The FarmSoft system will reject delivery of produce that is still within a PHI/Pre Harvest Interval or withholding period.
- Unauthorized harvests will be rejected upon delivery to ensure maximum quality of fresh produce traceability
- Share your choice of supply chain information using the FarmSoft Traceability Code – allowing either customers or end consumers to rapidly access your selected traceability and marketing information by simply scanning a bar-code with their smartphone or entering a code online
- Strict control over the Fruit Packing Process ensures traceability is maintained even when mixing fresh produce from multiple origins, essential for fruit packing traceability
- Strictly automated Fresh Produce Inventory / Fresh Produce Stock Control and Mobile Inventory ensures traceability enforcement
- Orders, Contracts, Sales, Invoice, and Dispatch processes are tied to exact pallet ID, inventory ID, batch ID, and container numbers, ensuring instant traceability from either end of the supply chain
Maximize food safety in your fresh produce facility today! Download the FarmSoft Fresh Produce Traceability Software brochure or watch the fruit packing video.
Start improving your fresh produce traceability and packing processes today...
Sharing your choice of fresh produce traceability supply chain information with a bar-code has never been easier.
Share your choice of information with customers, end consumers or both. Use your choice of traceability bar-codes, code labels, or have the labels tailored to your specification.
Scan Consumer Unit Barcode
Scan Trade Unit Barcode
Enter Code from any Unit
Why use traceability sharing tools?
End consumers are 80% more likely to choose fresh produce that has an open traceability policy over product that does not have open traceability. Truth is, very few consumers will ever lookup a traceability code, however, they want to know the option is available. For your customers, instant access to quality control information can assist them in decision making processes and increases customer confidence and supply chain traceability.
How can users scan a barcode?
Its easy, they can use one of many dozens of free apps on their Apple, Android, or Blackberry phone – many users will already have these apps installed. Simply use an app like Google Goggles, Barcode Reader, Shop Savvy etc. Once the barcode is read the information relating to the fresh produce is automatically shown to the user via a web page. For example, try scanning the barcode below:
Who do I share the information with?
If you place labels on retail units, obviously only your customers will have access to the code. If you place codes on consumer units, end users will also have access to your choice of traceability information.
What information can I share?
Turn on or off the following details:
- You can write a few paragraphs about your company, quality, and produce. This will be shown at the start of all traceability results
- Company Name
- Company Logo
- Produce, Variety
- Traded Unit/Finished product name
- Batch Number
- Batch Pack Date
- Land Origin
- Weight & Measure
- Country of Origin
- Shipped on Pallet Number
- Pallet Creation Date
- Ship Date
- Transport Company
- Transport Reference
- Invoice Number
- Sales order Number
- Customer Reference (from Sales Order)
- Invoice Custom Field 1, 2, 3, and 4
- Quality Control Results
What labels can I use?
Use standard labels built into FarmSoft, or request a tailored label built to your exact specifications. Labels can be virtually any shape and size, and contain any information you wish to show in human readable format or encoded into your chosen format of barcode.
Download the FarmSoft Packhouse Software brochure or watch the fruit packing video.
Contact a FarmSoft consultant today to start improving your traceability and packing processes.
Reference: Less fresh produce waste more traceability Accurate inventory shipping fruit packing software fruit pack shed fruit packing shed labor management fruit packing time sheet bar code time and attendance.
Andrew Steele - GS1
Australia is in the process of revolutionising its barcode system
GS1 Australia is in the process of revolutionising its barcode system, providing more information and traceability, regarding the identity of loose produce items.
Account Director, Andrew Steele told the Hort Connections conference that the project has been in work for two years now, and is in the implementation stage. Driven by Woolworths and Coles supermarkets, he says retailers have been working with suppliers to implement the GS1 data bar, where the Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) is linked back to the packhouse where that item has been sourced.
"Traditionally, produce items like apples, oranges, stone fruit, mangoes have had a global PLU, or price look-up number," he said. "It tells you what it is, but it doesn't give you any link back to where that Pink Lady or Granny Smith apple, or Kensington Pride mango has come from. In some case, the packhouse will also be the grower, or sometimes the grower might send it to a consolidated packhouse. But at least it is the first step in getting better linkage and traceability back to the packhouse."
But Mr Steele says the most exciting thing on the horizon is data embedded barcodes, and that comes in two forms; a slightly bigger "1D" barcode, or a much smaller "2D" barcode, called a data matrix.
"It includes a lot of additional data, for example, not just that a product is a tray pack of meat, but it has variable weight, production date, best before date, either a batch or serial number, and whether it is a prime cut or not," he said. "There are a lot of opportunities in the industry and food waste is one of them. So, if we can get product out through the checkout without having to throw it out. It is a better opportunity for the industry, just on that alone."
He added that Woolworths is implementing a new barcode trial, starting next month, working with two meat suppliers, using a 2D data matrix barcode. But the supermarket eventually would like to do a similar thing with fresh produce, which currently has a barcode, such as ready to eat soups and salad kits.
"What this means is that if you look at your pre-packaged salads, it has a pre-printed barcode on it," he said. "As soon as you want to include data like a batch code or use-by date, you have to move away to in-line barcode technology. This is the discussion that we have to have in the industry now, regarding what is the potential for businesses to introduce in-line barcode printing technology. The other big discussion is, we know where Woolworths is at, so we need to get the other retailers together to form an industry-wide roadmap. There's nothing worse as a supplier doing it one way for Woolworths, but all the others require the old way."
Globally, GS1 has been around for more than 45 years, and has around one million companies in 150 countries using the system to make more than six billion transactions per day. It a not-for-profit organization, and Mr Steele says it was started by industry, so it works for the industry, and some of the leading global brands sit on the board to give it a bigger presence in the marketplace.
Traceability systems have become increasingly important in recent years, to help solve some serious issues across the industry surrounding food safety, food contamination and food fraud.
"Implementing effective traceability processes can lead to big dollar savings across the global fresh food industry, right down to the store level" Mr Steele said. "Of course, the government is playing an increasing role these days by increasing regulations surrounding traceability requirements, market access and the like."
But Mr Steele admits that one of the challenges is the introduction of different types of barcode labelling on packages.
"You have QR codes which is for BTC - business to consumer marketing purposes," he said. "You have got your traditional 1D barcode for point of sale scanning. In the US there's a thing called 'smart label' where you scan it and it takes you to a brand-owner website that gives you access to all the off-pack label information around nutritional data and allergen statements. There's a lot of information that is hard to fit on smaller packets."
The company presented a global standard to industry last year, called Digital Link, which incorporates a URL into a barcode.
"The idea, if you think of Lord of the Rings, 'One Ring to rule them all', we would like to move to one barcode that is multi-purpose," Mr Steele explained. "So, it will satisfy the point of sale, and supply chain requirements, but also consumers can use it for marketing, smart labelling, and business to consumer engagement. At Gs1 we realise that people in the real world don't want multiple barcodes on products."
Greenscans announces launch of produce database
greenscans, provider of perishable product barcode scanning technology, today announced the launch of its consumer-driven produce information database for in-store barcode scanning and product look-up.
This new database provides consumers with the broadest fruit and vegetable data set, on a product-by-product basis, with a single barcode scan or product search using the greenscans mobile app or other third-party app (via the greenscans mobile platform SDK and API). The development of this data set provides the most complete produce information, including taste, how to choose, nutritional information, and recipe ideas, available to consumers while they shop in the produce department of their favorite grocer. Testing in focused markets shows that this data set now covers over 95% of produce products and over 70% in any store nationwide for barcode scanning, including support for 6,000+ fresh products and the addition of 40,000+ recipes. The app’s produce search feature showed 99% data coverage nationally.
“We put a tremendous amount of effort into this back-end system and had high expectations for product coverage. Our initial testing has significantly exceeded those expectations,” said Paul Engelman, CEO, greenscans.
Additionally, greenscans has been designed to allow growers to customize the information delivered to the consumer once they scan their barcode allowing for a host of extended packaging and brand awareness opportunities, including brand information, customized videos, cross-sell and upsell opportunities, product certifications, and more are all manageable through greenscans’ Perishable Product Index back-end for participating growers.
“Historically, growers and shippers have spent considerable time and effort placing rich consumer content on their Website. Now, consumers can view this content using the greenscans app with one scan of any of their product barcodes. We’ve created a simple, engaging way for them to instantly leverage today’s mobility trends to deliver a customized mobile experience, per product, to manage their consumer messages on a scan-by-scan basis. For the first time, growers can see a measurable return on investment (ROI) for the bulk produce barcode sticker (stacked GS1 Databar barcode)by enabling instant engagement with social media (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.) via a barcode scan as well as the ability to customize nearly all of the information for an individual product / brand,” said Engelman.
To learn more about greenscans’ new product database, visit www.greenscans.com
New resource from the Tasmanian Fruit and Vegetable Export Facilitation Group
Real-time tracking and edible barcodes
As consumers want
to know more about the provenance of their food, the Tasmanian Fruit and Vegetable Export Facilitation Group is releasing a new resource that highlights the digitalisation of provenance.
The new Food Transparency information resource looks at the tracing and tracking of food and its provenance, and provides a list of providers that can help food producers set up tracking and provenance systems. It highlights how digitalisation of provenance is helping to increase the transparency of food production, allowing customers to check on the movement of food in the supply chain, ensuring quality and ethical production.
In a futuristic example, one Californian based enterprise has created edible barcodes that can be embedded in the product and later tested by the consumer using desktop test kits. These invisible, DNA based barcodes check the authenticity, origin or quality of fresh produce, meat and pharmaceutical and nutraceutical products.
By Lisa Cork (Fresh Produce Marketing Ltd)
QR-codes: mistakes to be avoided
There is no doubt QR codes have taken all marketers by storm. Eighteen months ago, they were nearly unheard of. Today, they adorn everything from packaging to ads to billboards to even t-shirts.
It is no wonder QR codes are popping up everywhere when you consider their benefits. First, they are basically free to generate and use. You simply create a code from one of the thousands of sites that now offers QR code creation and you put it anywhere you want to create a direct interface with your consumer. Second, you control where the scanned QR code link takes your consumer, so you can direct what you want your customer to see.
However, a QR code’s benefits are also its biggest enemy. The problem with free stuff, like being able to generate a code for free, is anyone can do it. This means the discipline that normally comes with ensuring a paid marketing activity generates value above its cost, basically goes out the window.
The result is the broader consumer marketing space is now saturated with QR codes. While 5% of the codes I have seen in the last six months are executed well, the reality is 95% are executed poorly. The consequence of bad codes is we run the risk of consumers not using them because they don’t trust them to deliver a good experience.
So what are the most common QR code mistakes? Here the top three list of Lisa Cork (Fresh Produce Marketing Ltd) based on her experience with QR codes over the past twelve months.
1. QR Codes That Can’t Be Scanned by Multiple Smart Phones
"I was at the PMA-USA in October and QR codes were big news. Most major produce companies had launched a QR code on their packaging. However, I could not scan about 75% of them. The reason why? As some explained to me, American QR codes were initially generated for Blackberry phones as they have high consumer penetration in the USA. As a result, I had trouble scanning most codes with my I-Phone. While this challenge will no doubt diminish over time, always check your codes scannability using a range of phones to make sure it is compatible" Lisa says.
2. Sending Users To Non-Mobile Enabled Web Pages
If you are going to use a QR code, then you must have a mobile enabled website/landing page where the people who scan can actually use their phone to navigate the page where you have sent them. If you don’t have a mobile enabled site, then don’t use a QR code until you do. It only leads to frustration.
3. Employ Marketing 101 – Think About Your User and the Experience They Want To Have
Marketing 101 teaches you to think about your target market and understand their needs in order for your marketing to have an impact. Using a QR code is no different.
Make sure you think about who owns smart phones and which demographic segments are engaging with smart phone technology. Then ask yourself, “What does this audience want/need to know about my product?” Someone who is a twenty-something will likely have different information/engagement needs than a fifty-something. Who is your code targeting?
Make sure you deliver on your QR code promise. If your QR code promo copy says “Scan this code for great recipes,” then don’t take them to your home page! You promised recipes, ensure the link takes them direct to recipes. This is one of the biggest frustrations from users and guarantees to put them off QR codes for life. Deliver on what you promise.
Finally, realise that QR codes will, like websites did, go through several incarnations. Just because you’ve put a QR code on your packaging doesn’t mean you can stop there. Just like Marketing 101 teaches, now you’ve got to pay attention to the results. Track your stats. Who is visiting? Where from? How long are they staying? Are they doing what you wanted? If not, then refine the campaign. Also keep yourself informed regarding how smart phone scanning technology is changing. There is already technology on the horizon that can connect information to existing databars, making it ideal for fresh produce where space can be limited.
"For the next two to three weeks, take pictures of QR codes you encounter in your daily life. They don’t have to be fresh produce related. Take a picture of the code in use (e.g. the magazine ad, billboard, on-pack, etc), email it to me (email@example.com) and let me know if you thought it was effective or not. In a future column, I will pick the best and worse codes and review their success."
Two major innovations for ecofriendly exotic fruit and vegetable packaging
According to an Ellen MacArthur Foundation study, «the ocean is expected to contain 1 tonne of plastic for every 3 tonnes of fish by 2025, and by 2050, more plastics than fish (by weight). In response to that environmental emergency, the Environment and Community Ministry launched France’s National Plastics Pact on 21 February 2019.
Target: 60% reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging in 2022 and 100% in 2025.
In the exotic fruit and vegetable sector, plastic packaging is a pressing issue that raises the challenge of developing eco-friendly solutions from the packaging to the labelling whilst maintaining the quality and traceability of fresh produce
The company Capexo is now making its contribution with two major innovations in exotic fruit and vegetable packaging and labelling, beating the official target by two years !
Innovation 1 : Exotic fruit and vegetable printing
The patented process, which Capexo owns for France, makes it possible to print food-grade ink on the skin of almost all fruit and vegetables, adding a barcode, price or any other consumer information. The innovation heralds the end of excess plastic packaging and stickers for exotic fruit and vegetables and more.
All exotic fruit and vegetables with a relatively smooth skin can be printed. Pineapple, for example, cannot. Grainy-skinned avocado can, but a barcode would not be legible enough to work properly at
the checkout. It is possible to print the sale price, however. The printing process also adapts to the fruit’s ripeness to avoid any possible damage.
Food safety guaranteed
The process involves patented, quality-tested food-grade inks — the same ones used in the pharmaceutical industry to coat tablets.
End of checkout shrinkage
In store, on-fruit printing avoids the problem of differentiating between, for example, an air-freighted and seaborne mango, which have different sale prices, at the supermarket checkout. The process removes all possible confusion as either the barcode or price is shown on each individual fruit.
Innovation 2 : Biocompostable punnet packaging
Ready to eat fruit sold in batches, such as ripe avocados or air-freighted bananas, needs punnet packaging to protect it and prevent checkout shrinkage. To replace the plastic film and punnet, which are at best recyclable, Capexo biocompostable packaging features cardboard sourced from sustainably managed birchwood forests, wrapped in a protective transparent film, which is also derived from birchwood, and heat-sealed on a flow-pack machine. That makes the punnet packaging fully biocompostable.
Corn starch-based biocompostable films are already available. As they may not be 100 % GMO-free, however, Capexo rejected that option as a precautionary measure.
End consumers can throw the punnet and film away in their home compost bin, where they will naturally degrade in the same way as other compostable waste. Failing which, the packaging can be disposed of in a recycling bin.
Punnet traceability maintained
Capexo biocompostable packaging enables ecofriendly product traceability with a batch number, origin, best-before date and all other information required by consumers using food- grade ink.
The innovations are aimed at the specialist and generalist food retailers amongst Capexo’s customers. The retail group Cora shares its story. « Ahead of the upcoming legislative deadlines on plastic packaging and with the emphasis on CSR, Cora is rethinking its products’ packaging. Since November 2019, all our air-freighted Peru mangoes have been unpackaged. The barcode and consumer information — ‘product picked when ripe’ and ‘food-grade ink’ — are written straight on the mangoes’ skin using the on-fruit printing process developed and provided by our supplier Capexo with food-grade ink. As we also sell seaborne mangoes, that enables us to segment the product and avoid the problem of checkout shrinkage.
"For Cora, the innovative process enables us to maintain our mango sales and, like biocompostable labels, which are also used in our stores, that puts us in a virtuous circle and motivates consumers. It’s very positive," said Sophie Malinas, Fruit and Vegetable Procurement Manager at Cora retail group.
Interview of François Bellivier, Capexo Director of Development
What does environmental innovation mean to Capexo ?
When the National Plastics Pact was launched in 2019, we’d already spent over a year developing the two innovations and incorporating them into our packaging chains. Like most people, we’re aware of the threat of plastic pollution, particularly in the oceans. Except that, as a fresh produce importer, we can and must bring our retail customers alternatives to plastic packaging.
At Capexo, we can’t reasonably talk about our products’ taste and nutritional quality without considering their packaging’s environmental impact.
The environmental impact also includes the shipping.
Yes, that’s important, but don’t forget that you need to take the
product’s entire lifecycle to calculate its carbon footprint. That said,
the air-freighted exotic fruit and vegetables we import only travel on commercial flights. We never charter cargo flights specially for our products. The two packaging innovations are part of a long-considered environmental policy at Capexo. But I want to stress that they’re not going to solve the excess plastic packaging problem alone. But they make a contribution and show that it’s the development of solutions tailored to each market that will enable effective widespread action. The food distribution sector is on the front line. Consumers are naturally looking to supermarkets.
It’s up to us to bring our customers ethical solutions that will help change the course of history. That’s also the customer service provided by Capexo.
The innovations are currently limited to your customers, and tomorrow?
Whether it’s us or another exotic fruit and vegetable importer, what matters is that similar solutions spread fast! The market
is big enough to be shared! We will have been the first, which is already a huge source of satisfaction in itself. Of course, we’re not going to stop when we’re clearly on the right track. Innovation has a future at Capexo ! I can also see the positive effects of our ambition inhouse. Our staff are proud to see that the company is taking its responsibilities seriously and innovating. Since Capexo is
a forward-looking company, this guarantees our employees a future. Environmental innovation has become the cornerstone of our CSR* as it has an impact across the environment, society and economy.
(*) Corporate Social Responsibility
Founded in 1996, the company Capexo imports and markets exotic fruit and vegetables in France under the Lilot Fruits brand. A key player at Rungis International Market, Capexo provides a constant supply of delicious and nutritious produce to wholesalers and the wholesale markets as well as specialist (Grand Frais, Métro, etc.) and generalist (Carrefour, Casino, Monoprix, etc.) food retailers.
Sharing the same high standards as its suppliers, Capexo selects produce from the finest sources. The company works closely with one of Reunion’s biggest cooperatives. 90% of the island’s air-freighted fruit is exported by Lilot Fruits.
Victoria pineapple, avocado, mango, passionfruit, lime, etc. are just some of Capexo’s flagship products.