Fresh produce quality control inspection app for packer, processor of fresh produce, food, meats. Fully customizable QC and quality testing inspection.

99% less fresh produce packing waste

Accurate fresh produce & food inventory management reduces waste through better FIFO stock rotation, stock-takes, and inventory alerts. RFID pallet control (optional) for precision inventory tracking. 

Save time packing fruit & vegetables

Increase the efficiency of fresh produce inventory using options like scanning incoming bar-codes to reduce data entry & errors, integrate with scales for automatic weighing, ore RFID for automatic fresh produce inventory tracking.

Better fresh produce quality control

Guarantee the quality of your fresh produce packing with flexible fresh QC testing systems from your phone or tablet. Customer feedback management, supplier quality control and more...

Reduce fresh produce packing errors & control production

Project required inventory (and shortages), schedule orders to be packed in batches , automatic alerts to prodution line managers.

100% accurate fresh produce order shipping

Shipping teams are guided through the dispatch process from picking using a phone or tablet (optional bar-code scanning), automatic picking, thru bill of lading, invoice, and automatic shipping notifications for customers, transport, and sales teams.

Reduce fresh produce packing administration costs by 40%

Automatic generation of fresh produce labels, bill of lading, invoice, picking documents and more; reduces administrative burden.

Easy audit & recall systems reduces compliance costs.

Faster fresh produce inventory storage  inventory

Accurate fresh produce & food inventory management delivers reduced waste and increased employee productivity. Manage FIFO, improve stock-take accuracy, scan harvester data, and keep a watchful eye on your inventory... Easy stock-take identifies shrinkage and helps reduce waste from ageing. 

100% accurate fresh produce traceability

Maintain strict fresh produce traceability and high food safety standards always. Perform recalls based on lot/batch, pack date, invoice #, inventory #, pallet #, delivery date, purchase order #, or perform a recall on your own user defined data. Perform instant recalls both up and down the supply chain. Makes audits easy and instant. COVID-19 food safety & auditing available. 

Reduce fresh produce waste by 99%

Inventory control ensures there is no 'shrinkage', food inventory is FIFO managed, and expiring inventory always monitored.

Reduce administration time by 60%

Automatic paperwork, labels, and reporting reduces the burden on administration teams and saves everyone's time.

Better fresh produce quality now

Quality control and food safety has never been easier with industry standard quality tests, food safety checklists; or configure your own tests. 

100% accurate orders!

Guarantee only the correct inventory is shipped for each order, on time, every time.

Fresh produce quality control:

Farmsoft fresh produce packing app is for fruit & vegetable packer, processor, import/export.  Full fresh produce traceability, auditing, inventory control, and fresh produce business management app.

Quality inspection for fresh produce

Consistent and accurate quality control ensures higher customer satisfaction and adherence to industry, de-facto, and in-house quality control standards. Track supplier quality performance, customer feedback & complaints, create QC tests for any part of the fresh produce & food manufacturing process (incoming goods, raw materials, finished goods, expiry test, export/shipping tests), daily factory hygiene, machinery calibration, employee checklists... 

Fresh produce logistics

Manage orders, pack to order, picking and auto picking, dispatch & shipping process. Generate invoices, bill of lading, pick slips, export documentation and other sales documents... Dispatch teams are guided through the dispatch process ensuring every order is filled perfectly, and on time. Paperwork such as BOL, freight documents, export documents are automatically generated based on the customer and destination to guarantee no rejected shipments or issues at borders.

Fresh produce labels

Generate fresh produce SSCC pallet labels, GS1 case & PTI labels, bin labels, batch labels, traded unit labels, harvest labels and more. Use the built in industry standard labels for Walmart, Woolworths, Aldi, Tesco, Loblaws etc - or design your own with the built in label & report designer. Our team can design all of your fresh produce documents to ensure farmsoft matches your requirements perfectly.

Fresh produce packing control

Sales, Quality, Profit, Dispatch, Pack, Farm...... Dashboards for sales teams provide instant impressions of customer orders and current inventory levels. The dispatch dashboard helps plan shipments, order of loading, and transport companies & drivers... The Profit analysis dashboard shows margins per unit and most profitable customers. Use our API to access your data however you like.

Fresh produce batch packing

Project required raw materials needed to pack/manufacture orders, potential shortages, schedule multiple orders to be packed in batches on selected production lines with a few clicks, automatically send new job alerts to managers, schedule additional harvests, analyze outstanding orders. Manage entire packing and manufacturing process with ease.

Fresh produce alerts monitoring

Automatic alerts for shipments can be sent to customers, transport providers, or even team members. Every time a batch is finished processing, receive an alert with the pack-out breakdown and percentages of grades & quality and waste. Alerts can include simple shipment notifications, or even invoices and original order details. Other alerts include order changes/modifications, yield reports, new order alerts, and low inventory alerts... 

Farm app option

Implement the farmsoft Farm Management suite to provide a comprehensive integrated business management solution from seed to plate. Includes automatic task management, best practices, budgeting, farm inventory, PHI enforcement, audits, residue reporting, USDA reporting, dashboards, recalls and more... 

Fresh produce supplier quality control

Suppliers must know that your business is measuring and tracking their performance. Any trends that effect the quality of fresh produce can be quickly detected, automatically traced back to the fresh produce supplier (especially if a result of a customer complaint / feedback), management and purchasing teams are automatically alerted when a supplier quality issue happens. Quantify your suppliers quality using the Supplier Quality Dashboard. 

Fresh produce finance apps

Share data with your Xero finance app, Quickbooks, MYOB, SAGE, using our API, or request our team perform a custom integration for your fresh produce company. This is an optional module, please ask your consultant for additional details and discuss your specific requirements, additional costs will apply for integration with your chosen finance app. 

Fresh produce RFID

Automatic tracking of each pallet’s exact location. Makes loading orders accurate and easy, stops errors during shipping. Very low costs to setup your hardware using farmsoft’s innovative RFID for fresh produce solution. Pallets put onto truck are auto added to order, and checked for accuracy. Pick up a pallet and its RFID instantly selected. Add pallet/bin to production line and its auto added to batch for traceability.

Fresh produce API

Integrate with virtually any other app or software solution using the farmsoft API. It's open! Anyone can use it. Your in house I.T. team, or any external I.T. vendor you want to help you with integration. Add your own reports, extract special data, or even create new interfaces between farmsoft and any app such as accounting, payroll, B2B, B2C. Other integration in farmsoft includes the ability to integrate with selected weigh scales to capture fresh produce net delivery weights.

Fresh produce bloch-chain

Increase customer confidence and prove the credentials of your traceability integrity and transparency with block-chain ledger technology.   We use the chain-trace.com blockchain solution. (Optional module not included with standard Packing / Food Manufacturing ERP solution).

Improve fresh produce production planning

Efficient management customer orders, and the ability to analyze orders gives you new production planning tolls in farmsoft. Ensure each order is filled to exact specifications, on time, every time. Increase customer satisfaction and retention, and reduce stress in the packhouse with confident production planning using work orders/batch orders, sales contracts, sales orders, and sales order items. Are you manufactruing or processing chili products? Try farmsoft for chili processing. 

Accurate fresh produce traceability

Quality officers are guided through the quality control process, presented with images and instructions for each test, ensuring they know what to look for at all times, corrective actions are presented if a quality issue is detected. This makes training new fresh produce quality control officers fast, and ensures consistency in the quality control management processes for incoming fresh produce, post pack/post processing, storage, and dispatch. 

Efficient use of fresh produce cold stores

Maximize your cold store use and rotation of stock using farmsoft's pallet maps, and precision traceability tracking with expiring inventory reminders.
Cold store management software for fruit importers, exporters, packers, cross docking, and short and long term fruit storage.

Quality control for fresh produce:

The farmsoft quality control app provides business wide quality management inspection systems for fresh produce, food manufacturing, seed processing, meat packing & processing, and flower packing.

IQF QUALITY CONTROL
Improve IQF food quality with an easy to use quality control & business management app. The IQF method of freezing is special because of its ability to individually freeze all its components and keep them separate from each other.  Advancement both in how the products are frozen as well as the speed at which a product can be completely frozen are reaching new heights in the technological sense.

QUALITY CONTROL CHALLENGES FOR BLUEBERRY IMPORTER EXPORTER
Global blueberry market projected to surpass 1.4 billion pounds has increasing competition, and product quality remains paramount for companies that wish to profit and survive logistics, storage, and quality challenges.  The major factors which are driving the blueberry market in the United States include increasing.  The United States is the largest producer of blueberry which accounts for around half of the global blueberry production. The production is further increasing with the favorable climatic conditions and the increasing interest of cultivars within the country. 
QUALITY CONTROL FRESH PRODUCE
Fresh produce is a sensitive product category that requires fast shipping and proper storage. Any delay in your supply chain or a disruption in storage conditions can seriously impair your product’s quality. For a fresh produce supplier, it is equally important to check the condition of their inventory at departure from the farm or packaging facility and upon its arrival at the destination.

Automated fresh produce quality control savings
Automated fresh produce quality control savings , Increase fresh produce quality, reduce waste in the fruit, vegetable, seafood, meat, poultry packing and processing industry.  For stakeholders across the fresh fruit and vegetable value chain, quality control plays a mission-critical role in their organizations’ daily management. Organizations that can utilize next-gen technology to improve the quality control of their crop and create a consistent approach to testing fresh produce pre-sale are winning on three fronts, boosting enterprise profitability by a third.

Fresh produce quality control inspections
Easy fresh produce quality inspections help you reduce waste in the fruit, vegetable, seafood, meat, poultry packing and processing industry.    Inspections were often completed in person, where a buyer and a seller would meet together in order to perform the quality control inspection. Of course, when the pandemic hit, this was off the table entirely, and both buyers and sellers began to look for a new way to ensure quality control remotely. You may still have a single inspector, but the reliance on human capital is much less extensive.  

Automate fresh produce quality control

Automate fresh produce quality control for packers and processors, wholesalers, importer and exporter of fresh produce.  This is especially true when you consider the changing requirements that accurate quality control insists on. Let’s take one example, of table grapes. In the early part of the season, you may want a minimum Brix level of 14%. As the season matures, the minimum threshold will be 16%. Rather than relying on a PDF update, an email notification, and the hope that your on-site inspectors will modify their quality thresholds, by changing the algorithm in the office, the inspection will be automatically rejected if it doesn’t meet the quality standards.

Fresh fruit & vegetable quality control artificial intelligence
Fresh fruit & vegetable quality control artificial intelligence: Time for some meaningless buzz words about AI in fresh produce quality control.  On the simplest level, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is any process where a decision is taken by a machine instead of a human. An AI model is an example of AI where data is used to train a model with real-world examples until the machine is good enough to perform a particular task. At first glance, it might not seem like AI and fresh produce have much to do with one another, we’ve found a synergy that opens up new opportunities for stakeholders across the value chain, from growers and packing houses, through to retailers’ distribution centers and end-users.

Increase fresh produce quality, reduce waste
Increase fresh produce quality, reduce waste in the fruit, vegetable, seafood, meat, poultry packing and processing industry.  Did you know that more than 20% of fruit and vegetables are lost between harvest and retail? This problem is larger than the produce itself, already a devastating reality. It is also having a heavy impact on water shortages, with blue water attributable to food waste at around 6% of all total withdrawals.  In order to go some way to solving this problem, we need to recognize what’s causing it to begin with. Let’s take a look at the main culprits, across the whole value chain.
Quality Assurance vs Quality Control
Quality assurance (QA) and quality control (QC) distinction is that QA is process-oriented, whereas QC is product-oriented; for food manufacturing, food packing, fresh produce, and fruit & vegetable packing.
Lately, we’ve seen a lot of debate regarding distinguishing quality assurance (QA) and quality control (QC). The common distinction is that QA is process-oriented, whereas QC is product-oriented.
This premise is undeniably true, but once a team starts implementing both, it becomes clear that a single distinction between quality assurance vs quality control doesn’t provide enough applicable information.  When testers start implementing QA, they inevitably face several issues. Are QA/QC fully separate processes? How do you assign responsible members? 
Fresh produce quality control app
Quality control fresh produce app, quality control for fruit and vegetables and fresh produce builds consistent customer satisfaction , better quality fruit & vegetables, seafood, meat.  Quality control officers can easily capture photos and documents and link them to quality tests. These photos will be visible when looking at the quality control test results. This information can be very useful when dealing with suppliers that incorrectly state the quality of fresh produce or raw materials, or customers attempting to reject fresh produce because they have ordered too much. Farmsoft food quality control software also allows up to five quality control management staff to be sent emails containing the quality results of any tests that fail. This quality alert system allows management to make corrective actions or manufacturing decisions rapidly and increases communication between quality control officers and management.  flexible food quality control software solution for food manufacturers and fresh produce processors and packers. Configure quality control tests for specific clients, products, suppliers, employees, and more.
Customer quality control feedback
Customer quality feedback for fresh produce, fruit, vegetable. Allow customers to enter quality feedback online, automatically track feedback to the supplier, use the quality dashboard to analyze performance of your suppliers and more.  The trader has an explanation for the customer’s preference. The consumers first see the packaging and then the product. The appearance of the product’s packaging is the eye-catcher. And according to Wisser paper has a great advantage compared to plastic. “Paper gives customers the feeling of originality and nature’s values. In our experience the customers find this the most attractive form of packaging."  Manage customer complaints, capture customer comments, photos, documents, and more. Trace customer complaints back to the original supplier of fresh produce, or to the origin crop/field/patch.  Analyze customer complaints, complaint resolution and corrective actions. Instant recalls. Instant alerts to all relevant staff when a customer complaint/feedback is received.


Guarantee the quality of your fresh produce with flexible quality control testing systems. Fresh produce inventory - Orders - Quality - Packing - Sales - Shipping - Recall - Audit - Food safety - optional Xero integration.  Given the current and growing labor squeeze, it seems a logical solution would be to do what we already do best in this industry: grow our own. Like it or not, greenhouse growing operations may need to take on the role that technical schools and universities are abandoning when it comes to horticulture training. In-house education, hands-on job training, mentorship programs, and promoting from within could be, may have to be, the answer to your labor problems — and the future of growing new growers.  Given the current and growing labor squeeze, it seems a logical solution would be to do what we already do best in this industry: grow our own. Like it or not, greenhouse growing operations may need to take on the role that technical schools and universities are abandoning when it comes to horticulture training. In-house education, hands-on job training, mentorship programs, and promoting from within could be, may have to be, the answer to your labor problems — and the future of growing new growers.

Fresh fruit & vegetable quality control artificial intelligence
Fresh fruit & vegetable quality control artificial intelligence: Time for some meaningless buzz words about AI in fresh produce quality control.  On the simplest level, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is any process where a decision is taken by a machine instead of a human. An AI model is an example of AI where data is used to train a model with real-world examples until the machine is good enough to perform a particular task. At first glance, it might not seem like AI and fresh produce have much to do with one another, we’ve found a synergy that opens up new opportunities for stakeholders across the value chain, from growers and packing houses, through to retailers’ distribution centers and end-users.

Increase fresh produce quality, reduce waste
Increase fresh produce quality, reduce waste in the fruit, vegetable, seafood, meat, poultry packing and processing industry.  Did you know that more than 20% of fruit and vegetables are lost between harvest and retail? This problem is larger than the produce itself, already a devastating reality. It is also having a heavy impact on water shortages, with blue water attributable to food waste at around 6% of all total withdrawals.  In order to go some way to solving this problem, we need to recognize what’s causing it to begin with. Let’s take a look at the main culprits, across the whole value chain.
Quality Assurance vs Quality Control
Quality assurance (QA) and quality control (QC) distinction is that QA is process-oriented, whereas QC is product-oriented; for food manufacturing, food packing, fresh produce, and fruit & vegetable packing.
Lately, we’ve seen a lot of debate regarding distinguishing quality assurance (QA) and quality control (QC). The common distinction is that QA is process-oriented, whereas QC is product-oriented.
This premise is undeniably true, but once a team starts implementing both, it becomes clear that a single distinction between quality assurance vs quality control doesn’t provide enough applicable information.  When testers start implementing QA, they inevitably face several issues. Are QA/QC fully separate processes? How do you assign responsible members? 
Fresh produce quality control app
Quality control fresh produce app, quality control for fruit and vegetables and fresh produce builds consistent customer satisfaction , better quality fruit & vegetables, seafood, meat.  Quality control officers can easily capture photos and documents and link them to quality tests. These photos will be visible when looking at the quality control test results. This information can be very useful when dealing with suppliers that incorrectly state the quality of fresh produce or raw materials, or customers attempting to reject fresh produce because they have ordered too much. Farmsoft food quality control software also allows up to five quality control management staff to be sent emails containing the quality results of any tests that fail. This quality alert system allows management to make corrective actions or manufacturing decisions rapidly and increases communication between quality control officers and management.  flexible food quality control software solution for food manufacturers and fresh produce processors and packers. Configure quality control tests for specific clients, products, suppliers, employees, and more.
Customer quality control feedback
Customer quality feedback for fresh produce, fruit, vegetable. Allow customers to enter quality feedback online, automatically track feedback to the supplier, use the quality dashboard to analyze performance of your suppliers and more.  The trader has an explanation for the customer’s preference. The consumers first see the packaging and then the product. The appearance of the product’s packaging is the eye-catcher. And according to Wisser paper has a great advantage compared to plastic. “Paper gives customers the feeling of originality and nature’s values. In our experience the customers find this the most attractive form of packaging."  Manage customer complaints, capture customer comments, photos, documents, and more. Trace customer complaints back to the original supplier of fresh produce, or to the origin crop/field/patch.  Analyze customer complaints, complaint resolution and corrective actions. Instant recalls. Instant alerts to all relevant staff when a customer complaint/feedback is received.


Guarantee the quality of your fresh produce with flexible quality control testing systems. Fresh produce inventory - Orders - Quality - Packing - Sales - Shipping - Recall - Audit - Food safety - optional Xero integration.  Given the current and growing labor squeeze, it seems a logical solution would be to do what we already do best in this industry: grow our own. Like it or not, greenhouse growing operations may need to take on the role that technical schools and universities are abandoning when it comes to horticulture training. In-house education, hands-on job training, mentorship programs, and promoting from within could be, may have to be, the answer to your labor problems — and the future of growing new growers.  Given the current and growing labor squeeze, it seems a logical solution would be to do what we already do best in this industry: grow our own. Like it or not, greenhouse growing operations may need to take on the role that technical schools and universities are abandoning when it comes to horticulture training. In-house education, hands-on job training, mentorship programs, and promoting from within could be, may have to be, the answer to your labor problems — and the future of growing new growers.

Supplier quality management
Supplier quality management for fresh produce packer, processor, shipper, wholesale/import/export. Track performance of your suppliers over a period of time to get higher quality fresh produce at a good price. Configure any required QC tests for any test target. Instant alerts sent to management if a test fails. Attach photos and documents to tests. Capture customer complaints & feedback, monitor supplier performance. automatically retrieves certification, residue analyses, and supplier declarations. It also gives direct insight into each link in the chain's compliance status. The platform does this in various ways. Suppliers can easily share their documents before these expire. 

Fresh produce quality control app


Good fresh produce quality control is integrated into every facet of the farmsoft / Producepak food quality control app.
The Producepak / FARMSOFT suite is a comprehensive and highly flexible food quality control software solution for food manufacturers and fresh produce processors and packers. Configure quality control tests for specific clients, products, suppliers, employees, and more. Configure quality control tests for simple pass or fail tests, weighted score tests where each failure adds or deducts a value from the total score, percentage of sampled defect, and range value tests. Unlimited categories can be configured to make large tests more user friendly.



Food Quality Control Software
Quality control for fresh produce
Flexible food quality control software for quality control officers.
Quality control officers can easily capture photos and documents and link them to quality tests. These photos will be visible when looking at the quality control test results. This information can be very useful when dealing with suppliers that incorrectly state the quality of fresh produce or raw materials, or customers attempting to reject fresh produce because they have ordered too much. FarmSoft food quality control software also allows up to five quality control management staff to be sent emails containing the quality results of any tests that fail. This quality alert system allows management to make corrective actions or manufacturing decisions rapidly and increases communication between quality control officers and management.



Food Quality Control Software
Quality control for fresh produce
‍Flexible configuration of criteria, categories and tests via FarmSoft food quality control software
Comprehensive food quality control software.
The FarmSoft suite is an integrated solution for fresh produce processors and food manufactures to manage every part of business operations (excluding finance and payroll – although FarmSoft can be integrated with external accounting and finance packages). Including inventory, processing and manufacturing, traceability, cost control, labor cost capture and monitoring, best manufacturing practice / good manufacturing practices, FarmSoft delivers comprehensive business management from the ordering of raw materials, through the entire quality, inventory, manufacturing, sales orders, sales, and dispatch processes.

‍Start improving your businesses traceability today with the FarmSoft food traceability software. Talk to a consultant for free.
FarmSoft food quality control software delivers higher quality food manufacturing.
Food quality control software for progressive food manufacturing enterprises.
FarmSoft food food quality control software is used by award winning food manufacturers and processors world wide. The FarmSoft food quality control software delivers a comprehensive solution that starts from ordering of raw materials such as fresh produce, ingredients, or additives, and ends after sale. This holistic business management approach helps food manufacturers deliver maximum efficiency and traceability while reducing waste and financial risk exposure due to reduced batch sizes, and smaller recall windows.
Reference: Less fresh produce waste more traceability Accurate inventory shipping Apple packing, pear packing, citrus packing.

FarmSoft provides cutting edge fresh produce quality control software QC, which guides employees through the best manufacturing and quality control process for fresh produce fruit and vegetable packing QC, processing and manufacturing.
FarmSoft Fresh Produce Quality Control QC can force fresh produce (and other inventory) to be “placed on hold” and automatically alert senior quality officers that a further inspection needs to be made (up to five quality control officers can be alerted for each individual Quality Program defined in FarmSoft Quality Control). During the additional inspection, the quality control officer can reassign the class and grade, product features, storage location, and make the produce available for packing, send to processing, quality rejection process, or sales. You can even integrate your fresh produce quality control with FarmSoft’s Farm Quality Control QC systems.



Fresh Produce Quality Control for food safety:
Configure unlimited quality control programs, including specific programs for specific produce, variety, customer, or finished product
Tests can be for almost anything, such as testing incoming produce, outgoing produce, pre pack, pre graded produce, Packhouse cleanliness test, employee performance, task quality control etc. You can define the subject (thing) that you are testing
Each test can be a pass/fail, or range style test (ie: where results must be within the range of two numbers, or above or below a number)
Automatically force produce to be put on hold if selected tests fail
Manually put produce on hold for further inspection
On screen alerts for produce that has been put on hold
Set the number of tests to make the entire test program fail
Set individual tests to make an entire test program fail
Set the number of tests in a Category to make the entire test program fail
Each quality control program can be configured to have unlimited categories
Each quality control category can have unlimited tests
Each quality control program can record important details such as version, manager, and quality control documentation can be directly attached to the quality control program
Configure unlimited “classes” that can be assigned to produce
Configure unlimited “features” that can be assigned to produce. There can be four sets of features, for example color, grade, size, pack, etc.
Flexible fresh produce quality control configuration allows you to specify which quality tests require information such as:
Pallet number
Inventory number
Supplier
Transport Company
Employee
Task Number
Farm
Warehouse
Site
Storage Location
Equipment
Produce
Produce
Variety
Fresh Produce Quality Control Software for external businesses:
Easily configure QC Programs for the following companies (and more):
Walmart Quality Control
Woolworths Quality Control
Coles Quality Control
Aldi Quality Control
Tesco Quality Control
Marks and Spencer Quality Control
ASDA Quality Control
Sainsbury’s Quality Control
Costco Quality Control
PriceSmart Foods Quality Control
Loblaw Quality Control
Metro Quality Control
Safeway Quality Control
Kroger Quality Control
Whole Foods Quality Control
Wegmans Quality Control
Save Mart Quality Control
Shoprite Quality Control
Pick ‘n Pay Quality Control
Massmart Quality Control




Research And Implementation Of Safe Production And Quality Traceability System For Fruit
The main challenge in implementing the traceability process was ensuring compliance with the required MRL levels in order to deliver safe produce to supermarkets participating in the RAMA program. In addition, suppliers had to guarantee that only registered crop protection products were being used and good agricultural practices applied. Last but not least, there was the need to educate the fruit and veg growers so that they understood the program's necessity and requirements.

"The first step in capturing data for the new laws begins with obtaining the field data from the orchard or farm. Mobile scanning and printing allows the workers to gather the data needed right in the field as the product is being picked and loaded into the transport bins," says Bruce Stubbs, Director, Industry Marketing at Intermec Technologies.

Place labels on two sides of the pallet. Labels should be applied on two sides of a pallet (i.e., two sets of labels must be printed and applied to each pallet). If multiple Hybrid Pallet Labels are required to identify all the unique cases on a pallet, the labels should be stacked vertically (i.e. one above the other,not side by side).If shipping an over-wrapped pallet (e.g., wrapped in plastic), the same guidance as above applies; it is recommended the label be placed on top of the plastic, not underneath. This will ensure a better scan rate of the bar codes.



Fresh produce quality Control challenges for blueberry exporters and retailers
The global blueberry market has grown 40% since 2012, and is projected to surpass 1.4 billion pounds in 2017. Today, blueberries are grown in both hemispheres to satisfy the year-round demand of top consumer markets for this fruit, including the US, the UK, mainland Western Europe, and China. As newer ambitious blueberry exporters emerge on the market (Peru, Mexico, and Morocco among them), well-established producers, such as Chile and especially Argentina, are starting to feel the squeeze. With the increasing competition, product quality remains paramount for companies that wish to survive and succeed in this consolidating and rapidly maturing market.

“Advances in logistics, storage, and packaging solutions have drastically increased the shelf life of soft fruit in the last few decades,”. says Ignacio Santibanez, General Manager of AI PIA “Still, in a world where produce can travel for thousands of miles from where it was picked, it can be challenging to ensure optimal quality and freshness at every stage from farm to consumer. Blueberries in particular are a very sensitive product, and require close monitoring every step of the way.”


During the 2016-2017 harvesting season, AI PIA inspected close to 100,000 samples off fresh blueberries for growers, exporters and importers. The inspections found that only 43% of the fruit could be categorized as “good” based on the applicable quality standards. The “excellent” quality category remained largely out of reach, with less than 1% of all blueberries inspected making the cut. Some 44% of fruit were classed as “fair,” while “poor” and “bad” quality accounted for 11% and 1.7%, respectively.

Ignacio of AI PIA outlined the following key challenges that must be considered where the quality of blueberries is concerned:


Variable Harvesting Conditions
Blueberry harvest often coincides with periods of high heat and humidity – both factors that contribute to quick spoilage of freshly-harvested fruit. High temperatures during blueberry harvest season promote ripening, but overripe blueberries are very prone to damage. Wet berries, in turn, are highly susceptible to disease organisms. While blueberry producers strive to ensure optimal harvesting conditions, outdoor farms are highly weather-dependent, as was shown by the 2016-2017 harvesting season in the Southern Hemisphere, when warmer temperatures resulted in an early harvest, making for a difficult season for growers and exporters alike.

The Need for Prompt and Effective Cooling
Among the blueberries inspected during the 2016-2017 harvest season, PIA had to categorize fruit as “fair” or lower in 24.3% of cases due to decay, and 16.3%, due to mold. The most likely reason behind mold and decay in soft fruit is insufficiently fast or effective post-harvest cooling. Warm, wet, or damaged blueberries create ideal conditions for decay organisms. Cooler temperatures dramatically decrease the rate of decay and correspondingly increase the blueberries’ shelf life and transportability.

Long-Haul Logistics
An unbroken cold chain during transportation is crucial for preserving blueberry quality in transit. Last import season, according to AI PIA data, two-thirds of blueberry shipments to the US, the UK, China, Hong Kong, and the Netherlands travelled by sea, while roughly a quarter was shipped by plane. Air shipping allows growers to sell their produce within 48 hours of harvest, but it is not without risk. The whole shipment may be compromised if berries spend as little as 15 minutes sitting in the sun, which may happen while the truck navigates the tarmac. Another issue is that fresh produce is often shipped on passenger planes, which carries its own risks. If a passenger makes a last-minute decision to bring a dog, the temperature in the plane hold would be increased – necessary for the animal’s survival, but detrimental for the produce cargo.

Packaging and Presentation
Unlike many other fruit, packaging options are rather limited for blueberries. They are usually field-packed, and any additional handling is discouraged, so their very first container must provide sufficient protection and ventilation, and be suitable at lower temperatures during transportation. Producers experiment with different materials (such as replacing plastic with biodegradable materials) and extra features (such as absorbing and cushioning fruit pads), but shape-wise, the clamshell remains the industry standard. While it meets the functional criteria, this packaging does not lend itself to many marketing tricks, and manufacturers have to rely on the visible product to do most of the selling. This underlines the importance of high quality and good visual presentation for blueberries, as consumers usually make the decision based solely on the fruit’s appearance.
Quality control for fresh produce
Quality control for fresh produce


“For a perishable product like blueberries, every step of the supply chain is riddled with vulnerabilities, and a single mistake can be costly,” says Ignacio Santibanez of AI PIA. “We check the fruit’s condition and temperature along the entire way between farm and supermarket shelf. As with most products, the final approval or rejection is up to the consumer – but by safeguarding quality at each critical stage, we do everything to tip the scales in our clients’ favor.”


Color and quality control in fresh produce: Traditional solutions vs AI
September 4, 2020

Devendra Chandani

Editor’s note: Devendra Chandani is co-founder and head of US at Intello Labs, based in New Jersey. Headquartered in Gurugram, India, Intello Labs uses machine learning tech to grade the quality of agricultural produce. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own.

Fresh fruits and vegetables are a critical ingredient for food companies that make anything from juices and smoothies through to sauces, pastes, and pulps.

The characteristics of fresh produce differ by variety and season, unlike with many other raw materials. This variability creates challenges in the manufacturing process, and in delivering the quality customers expect in finished products.

Measuring quality in fresh produce
Defining fresh produce quality parameters and their measurement for acceptance is more complex compared to other raw ingredients. Uniformity, ripeness, color, gloss, and absence of defects are just some of the components of quality. Evaluating them can be subjective — in other words, done manually — or objective, when handled by a machine.

But the visual appearance of fruits and vegetables is universally accepted as the first quality determinant.

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Color is an important parameter because it directly affects the appearance of the final product. If there is color variance in fresh produce, corrective actions in the manufacturing process become necessary to ensure the perception of quality in the final product.

In short, failure to meet fresh produce color criteria can adversely impact cost and quality in the finished product. This applies to a wide range of food industry items.

Obstacles to identifying color
The biggest challenge to determining the color of fresh produce is heterogeneity. A fruit or vegetable may not be one color, but different shades of the same color. A single piece could also feature different colors blending into one another.

A good example here is tomatoes. A single tomato may have red, orange, and light green colors and still be acceptable as an ingredient. Another example is apples, which may have different shades of red depending on variety.

Traditional solutions
The color heterogeneity in fresh produce makes it difficult to set and measure acceptable criteria. Right now, the food industry utilizes a battery of equipment to measure color in both ingredients and finished products. Most often, this equipment includes colorimeters, spectrophotometers, and image-based color identification machines.

Though made for myriad food (and non-food) ingredients, these traditional instruments mostly fail in measuring acceptable color criteria for fresh produce:

Colorimeters are best for gauging homogeneous solutions or solids. When faced with heterogeneous solids they, at best, can indicate an average color. This often results in inaccurate identification.
Spectrophotometers are most appropriate for input in a liquid medium and for homogeneous products.
Equipment that processes high-quality images in a controlled environment appears to be the ideal choice, at least among existing solutions for fresh produce. These go beyond average color measurement to offer percentage composition of colors.
The latter can detect, for example, that a displayed tomato is 80% red and 20% light green. But when shown five separate tomatoes together, where one appears light green and the other four red, such instruments fail. Since the combined composition is still 80% red and 20% light green, this will often lead to the one light green tomato getting accepted erroneously.

Innovative solutions
In the last few years, artificial intelligence (AI) has widened the lead it has over all prior technologies for accuracy in visual identification of fresh produce. It has also surprised us in the plethora of tasks it excels at within image processing. It has beaten previous benchmarks in object detection, classification, and segmentation.

To explain these three tasks, let’s take the example of tomatoes again:

Object detection is the ability to identify different objects in an image. In this case, all the individual tomatoes that are presented.
Classification is the ability to organize an image into one of many classes. In this instance, the classification of a tomato can be 80% red, 30% red, and so on.
Segmentation is the ability to distinguish the composition of an image into the different features that are present in it. For example, the tomatoes, the table they are on, the piece of paper next to them, and so on.
Two factors enable AI to achieve excellence in these tasks. First, a large dataset of images labeled to meet acceptable and non-acceptable parameters of fresh produce. Second, sizable amounts of computing ability in the form of powerful microprocessors.

In a nutshell, AI fixes the issues riddling color for fresh produce accurately and much better than ever before.

Advantages of AI
AI-based solutions have the unerring ability to eliminate color issues in a heterogeneous scenario and color acceptance criteria for almost all fresh produce. But that’s not the sole benefit. It can do so in a wide variety of lighting conditions.



Fresh Produce Quality Control: Traditional vs. AI-Based Solutions
Fresh produce quality control app
Fresh produce quality control app
Fresh produce is a critical ingredient for food companies that make juices, sauces, pulp, paste, smoothies, etc. Here, fresh produce pertains to both fruits and vegetables.

Their characteristics vary by variety and season, which creates challenges in the manufacturing process.

Measuring quality in fresh produce
Defining fresh produce quality parameters and their measurement for acceptance is more complex compared to other raw ingredients. Uniformity, ripeness, color, gloss and absence of defects are just some of the components of quality. Evaluating them can be subjective (manually) or objective (machine).

But, the visual appearance of fruits and vegetables is universally accepted as the first quality determinant. Color is an important parameter because it directly affects the appearance of the final product.

If there is color variance in fresh produce inputs, corrective actions in the manufacturing process become necessary to ensure the quality of the final product.

In short, failure to meet fresh produce color criteria can adversely impact the cost, quality or both. This applies to a wide range of food industry products.

Obstacles to identifying color
The biggest challenge to determining the color of fresh produce is heterogeneity. It means that the color of the fruit or vegetable may not be one color, but different shades of the same color. It could also be different colors blending into one another.

A good example is tomatoes. A single tomato may have red, orange and light green colors and still be acceptable as an ingredient. Another example is apples, which may have different shades of red depending on the variety.

Traditional solutions for identifying color
The color heterogeneity in fresh produce makes it difficult to set and measure acceptable criteria. Right now, the food industry utilizes a battery of equipment to measure color in both ingredients and finished products. Most often, they are colorimeters, spectrophotometers and image-based color identification machines.

Though made for myriads of food (and non-food) ingredients, traditional instruments mostly fail in measuring acceptable color criteria for fresh produce.

· Colorimeters are best for gauging homogeneous solutions or solids. When faced with heterogeneous solids, they at best provide an average color. It often results in inaccurate identification.

· Spectrophotometers are most appropriate for input in a liquid medium and homogeneous products.

· Equipment that process high-quality images in a controlled environment appears to be the ideal choice. At least, among existing solutions for fresh produce. These go beyond average color measurement to offering percentage composition of colors.

For example, in the case of tomatoes, they can detect that the displayed tomato is 80% red and 20% light green. But, when you show five tomatoes together, where one is light green and four red, they fail. Since the combined composition is still 80% red and 20% light green, it would lead to the one light green tomato getting accepted erroneously.

Innovative solutions for identifying color
In the last few years, artificial intelligence (AI) has widened the lead over prior technologies for accuracy in visual identification of fresh produce. It also excels at image processing, and beaten previous benchmarks in object detection, classification and segmentation.

To explain these tasks, let’s take up the example of tomatoes again:

· Object detection is the ability to identify different objects in an image. In this case, all the individual tomatoes presented.

· Classification is the ability to organize an image into one of many classes. In this instance, the classification of a tomato can be as 80% red or 30% red.

· Segmentation is the ability to distinguish the composition of an image into different features that are present in it. In this example, tomatoes, table, piece of paper, etc.

Two factors enable AI to achieve excellence in these tasks. One, a collection of a large dataset of images labeled to meet acceptable and non-acceptable parameters of fresh produce. Two, sizable amounts of computing ability, i.e., powerful microprocessors.

In a nutshell, AI fixes the issues riddling color for fresh produce accurately and much better than ever before.

Advantages of AI in identifying color
AI-based solutions have the unerring ability to eliminate color issues in a heterogeneous scenario and color acceptance criteria for almost all fresh produce. But, that’s not the sole benefit. It can do so in a wide variety of lighting.

On top of it, with cloud processing, the solution becomes highly portable. It means one can conveniently access the powerful technology through a handheld device like a mobile phone.

Also, cloud computing allows easy integration of the solution with the rest of the user’s applications such as mail and messaging. These qualities make AI-based solutions far lighter on a user's pocket than the bulky, traditional equipment used for color identification.

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Quality Control Tailored for the Produce Industry
Fresh produce quality control app
Fresh produce quality control app
Inspections for All Types of Fresh Produce

Berries and cherries: blueberries, blackberries, cherries
Tropical fruits: mangos, pineapples, asparagus, kiwi
Traditional fruits: apples, pears, avocados, grapes, lemon, orange, clementines
Other fruits and vegetables: lettuce, tomatoes, chilies
Beans, corn, nuts, grains, cereals
Fresh produce quality control app
Solutions for Produce SafetyFresh produce quality control app

Quality check (color, maturity, firmness, shape)
Weight and diameter check
Defects check (including amount and seriousness of defects)
Fresh produce quality control app
Fresh produce quality control app
Produce Supplier Audits

Hygiene audits (GHP)
Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP)
Ethical audits
Food Safety Audits & Certification
QIMA Helps Monitor Every Step of the Produce Supply Chain


Fresh produce quality control app
Grower

Certification,
audits

Fresh produce quality control app
Exporter

Inspections (bulk and packed) at reception,
process and dispatch
Temperature control

Fresh produce quality control app
Shipping

Inspections for shipping companies before / after shipment

Fresh produce quality control app
Importer

Inspections (bulk and packed) at arrival, re-packing and dispatch supervision
Temperature control

Fresh produce quality control app
Retailer

Inspections at reception in DC's and stores
Process audits
Temperature control

Dedicated Produce Inspection Report
A detailed report with inspection results and photographs will be delivered to you by email on the same day as the inspection is performed.

The report will also be available in your personal QIMA dashboard, accessible online and on mobile, giving you the flexibility to make informed decisions for your shipment – any place, any time. Access to reports can be shared and controlled between retailers and suppliers.

Comprehensive Produce QC at the Source or Destination


Our specialized inspectors will check your produce to ensure its quality before and after shipping:



Condition of inventory: ensure that products can be shipped safely
Temperature control: check and monitor post-harvest temperature and storage conditions for your produce
Orders supervision: to help you sort and dispatch your produce orders
Re-packing supervision


QIMA produce inspectors follow detailed inspection protocols, prepared by our experts based on international regulations, standards of your destination market, and your own requirements.

Our sampling process strictly follows the ANSI/ASQC Z1.4 (ISO 2859-1) international sampling procedure and the guidelines of the Codex Alimentarius.

About Us


In 2016, Produce Inspectors of America (PIA) has joined the QIMA group to form the Fresh Produce Quality Control team of QIMA.

PIA had grown since the early 2000's to become a leader in fresh produce quality control services, opening offices in North America, Latin America and Europe.

QIMA is a global leading quality control and compliance service provider that partners with brands, retailers and importers in the consumer goods and food sectors to secure, manage and optimize their global supply chain.

QIMA operates in 85 countries; with over 2,000 inspectors and auditors classified by product range and account managers speaking over 20 languages, QIMA is Your Eyes in the Supply Chain!™



As any supplier of fresh produce will be well aware, food items such as vegetables, fresh fruit, berries, beans, corn, nuts, grains, and cereals must be shipped and stored swiftly after harvesting. This type of produce must also be stored in a protective environment to ensure that it does not start to spoil before it reaches consumers.

Thanks to the time-sensitive nature of fresh produce, therefore, any disruptions to a producer’s supply chain or problems surrounding food storage conditions can impair product quality and cause a raft of new problems surrounding health and safety and consumer satisfaction. In this way, it is vitally important for suppliers of fresh produce to ensure that they double-check the state of the items they intend to sell both when they leave the packaging facility or form and, indeed, when it arrives at its destination. They must also attend to any problems that may hinder the supply chain and rectify them as soon as possible.

For businesses hoping to purchase containers of fresh produce as part of their goods and services offering, it is important to double-check that this produce is fresh, delicious and safe to eat. This is where we come in.
At Global Inspection Managing, we provide a range of services for those involved in the fresh produce sector including produce testing and produce supplier audits. Indeed, our team of lab experts is committed to ensuring that clients’ produce is free from contaminants and suitable for consumption. This means that we thoroughly check the quality of produce before and after it is shipped, offering clients peace of mind in regards to the safety and quality of the items they sell.

We offer specially-tailored produce inspection services for food items including:

Vegetables, corn, and beans
Fresh fruits and berries
Nuts, cereals, and grains
We only hire the most knowledgeable experts
All of the lab technicians who work at Global Inspection Managing have unbeatable produce inspections expertise. This means that they are able to follow meticulous safety and inspections protocols based on individual client requirements, international regulations, and the legislative regulations set out by the relevant destination market. For example, to ensure that all samples collected during product audits are representative of their wider shipments, we make sure to adhere to the ANSI/ASQC Z1.4 (ISO 2859-1), an international sampling process, and the rules set out by the World Health Organisation’s Food Code (also known as the Codex Alimentarius).

Before any produce is loaded onto a vehicle for shipment, our meticulous inspectors will double-check its condition. This means ensuring that it is packaged and labelled correctly and is of high quality. Once the shipment arrives at its intended destination, the team will be ready and waiting to conduct a comprehensive produce inspection, making sure that your goods have not been spoiled or tampered with during transit.

We offer detailed inspection reports
Our team of experts is committed to writing up same-day inspection reports to help organisations make well-informed and quick decisions about their supply chain. Global Inspection Managing also offers clients an online tracker that provides real-time data about a given supply chain. With this data, clients can monitor trends and benchmark certain suppliers.

How is produce safety determined?
We determine the safety of produce using the following solutions:

Weight and diameter check to ensure a degree of uniformity across a supply chain
Quality check to monitor the maturity, colour, shape, and firmness of a given product
A check for defects including those that are merely cosmetic
Microbiological tests to determine food safety
Physico-chemical tests to determine the presence of chemicals such as pesticides
We offer detailed supplier audits
Our detailed supplier audits help clients to stay on top of the safety and compliance credentials of their produce suppliers, thereby helping them to identify areas for improvement. We offer a range of different audit types including:

Farm and greenhouse audits
These audits look for potential contaminants that may appear during produce growth. This means ensuring that proper protocols are followed surrounding the use of fertiliser, water usage and irrigation processes, pest control, food security, land usage, and employee hygiene and safety.

Ethical audits
We will investigate suppliers to ensure that they comply with the rules surrounding workers’ rights and conditions.

Food safety audits
Food safety audits help to ensure that suppliers use stringent quality management systems to keep their supply chain safe.

Harvest crew audits
We will ensure that employees involved with harvesting produce are kept safe and that working practices are hygienic.