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Fresh produce compliance guide
Track and trace fresh produce fruit & vegetable
TRACK-AND-TRACE TECHNOLOGY FOR FRESH PRODUCE & FRUIT & VEGETABLE PROCESSOR AND PACKERS
FarmSoft track and trace is a comprehensive fresh produce business management solution that caters for all operational processes from quality control, inventory, sales, dispatch, and orders. FarmSoft even provides food manufacturing, good manufacturing management, and value adding features. FarmSoft track and trace software provides many innovative features to bring easily maintained benefits to the fresh produce processor, packer, and marketer.
Using the FarmSoft traceability code, customers, and end consumers can track and trace fresh produce simply by scanning a QR code with their smartphone. The track and trace system will then present the customer/end consumer with the traceability or marketing information as chosen by the packer. This helps to improve customer confidence and provides supply chain transparency to promote the concept of food safety.
FarmSoft track and trace also includes the ability to track goods more than one level down the supply chain. This means you can track the supplier of a supplier to provide guaranteed extensive traceability. This functionality is not traditionally found in track and trace systems.
FarmSoft track and trace can be tailored to meet specific client requirements. The FarmSoft team understands every fruit processing business is different, and adapts the solution for each client.
Fresh produce track and trace
TRACK-AND-TRACE TECHNOLOGY FOR FRESH PRODUCE
The last year consumers have been facing large produce safety recall incidents (salmonella and E.coli).
Tomatoes were said to be the culprit, were pointed at, and took the blame, although they (probably) never made anyone sick. And while consumers stayed away from potentially ‘killer tomatoes’, the industry lost a lot of money. Panic leapt from one produce category to another with every new announcement, as neither the FDA nor the industry were able to come up with the source of the disaster.
But tell me, what exactly was the problem? Still, there is no answer, but even without the answer, what is this dreadful debacle teaching us?
In spite of the millions of dollars growers and processors have invested in state-of-the-art clean facilities and HACCP practices – consumers are facing recalls, and left in the dark in terms of information. Which is the brand of tomatoes that can be trusted to be safe? Where is the information that tells consumers from where the produce is originated. Brand identity with additional product information would be a good thing.
This leads to brand-protection technologies. However what’s amazing is that many of the executives, surveyed in a Colman-Brohan-Davis report, still question the near-term value of deploying information to fully empower consumer decision-making. Apparently the prevailing wisdom among many food executives is that sharing information with consumers is a waste as they are supposed to not understand it.
Contrary to this prevailing wisdom, the consumer has full access to unimaginable amounts of information at his fingertips through existent and future devices such as the internet and mobiles which read barcodes and other matrixes. Consequently, brands, whether they like it or not, have to be the authoritative source of information about their products … or someone else will be.
One of the brand-protection technologies is the track-and-trace technology. Traceability, as defined by Dr. Jeff Brecht (Professor at the University of Florida/Institute of Food & Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS), refers to the ability to locate an item at any time within the supply chain, as well as to call up a history of where that item originated and where it has been. For produce, one of the most important uses of traceability is to locate a lot of fruits and/or vegetables in the event of a food safety recall incident. This allows shippers and other handlers to promptly remove the suspect items from the distribution system. Also, retailers can prevent consumers from carrying through with a purchase of produce from a lot that has been identified as potentially unsafe. Efficient, rapid recall systems can minimize the negative economic impact of such events by quickly targeting the specific, suspected lot, and also serve to boost consumer confidence in the ability of the produce industry to respond to crises and protect consumers from potential harm.
Few markets have been more active in adopting this solution than fresh produce, where product recalls have been numerous lately. During the past couple of years, the Produce Marketing Association, Canadian Produce Marketing Association, and the United Fresh Produce Association have been developing and promoting the Produce Traceability Initiative (PTI). This Initiative is an industry-led effort to enhance traceability throughout the entire produce supply chain. It contains both internal and external traceability programs, needed in order to effectively track and trace products up and down the supply chain, achieving whole-chain traceability. At present, most companies have “internal” traceability programs, but have to expand to “external” traceability programs to include the consumer. The idea behind track-and-trace where produce is concerned is that the response to suspected recall events can be greatly accelerated if on-package product information follows the produce throughout the supply chain.
With Internal Traceability, confidential or proprietary data stay within their own span of operations to track/trace a product. With External Traceability there is data exchange between the trading partners including the consumer to track/trace a product.
One of the members of the PTI Steering Committee is Tanimura & Antle, a Californian company founded in 1982 on principles of quality, innovation and dedication to premium quality produce. Tanimura & Antle was one of the first to introduce an internal/semi-external identification tag for produce traceability.
The KwikTrak’r not only provides a re-sealable closure, keeping each lettuce head crisp, fresh and protected, but interestingly Tanimura & Antle also introduces a fresh produce traceability. Each KwikTrak’r clip, used for iceberg lettuce, is printed with the Ranch Number, Field Location, Work Number and Pack Date, so that the consumer (theoretically) can know exactly where the iceberg lettuce has come from.
But who is familiar with the codes used by Tanimura & Antle? This innovative food safety development is a promising step forwards, but misses the code explanation, which isn’t even available on T&A’s website and only obtainable by phone as the website is stating: “Call us today to TRAK your lettuce, 877.827.7388”.
The above mentioned shortcoming is eliminated by Arizona-based tomato and pepper shipper Del Campo Supreme, which introduced HarvestMark from YottaMark, Inc., for its tomatoes packaged in clamshells.
Each label for the clamshells Del Campo uses to package its tomatoes is pre-printed by the label converter using a high-speed ink-jet printer with a unique, encrypted code in both human-readable and 2D datamatrix format. When the clamshell is filled with tomatoes at Del Campo, the unique code is scanned to associate that clamshell with whatever lot the tomatoes came from. This clamshell-to-lot association is instantly captured in a YottaMark data base. The case into which that clamshell goes also gets a label with a unique code and that code is scanned into the data base as well, which means there is a parent/child relationship established between primary and secondary packages.
By entering a clamshell’s human-readable code into the www.harvestmark.com Website, a consumer gains easy access to distribution, quality, and food safety information. Or if the consumer has one of the newer breed of smart cell phones, all he or she has to do is scan the 2D bar code to gain instant access to the Web-based information.
The cost of this technology is “cents per unit”, easily justified as any outbreak or recall which you can’t trace back, is a huge and potentially costly exercise. Food safety and quality control should be cornerstones of any business, and on-demand traceability adds a critical business value to the existing operations, as if there is an outbreak or problem of some kind, the whole category gets a big blanket of negativity and bad press thrown over it. With technology in place that lets the consumer track the product back to the field, the lot, and the grower, the marketplace can be informed that the outbreak is traceable back to a certain brand and the consumer can buy the other brands with confidence.
Everything is at your fingertips at all time! Stock take, inventory levels, analysis of pack out rates, quality control, instant recall and easy auditing functionality. The track and trace philosophy is enforced by guiding users through the best traceability processes, ensuring easy compliance, and reducing the cost of transient labor training. Throughout the FarmSoft fresh produce management system, track and trace is being maintained at all levels. Incoming fresh produce has bar codes applied, and after packing or processing is finished, labels are applied to individual cases, and pallets. The case and pallet level traceability provides real time inventory monitoring of current raw and finished fresh produce inventory levels.
Comprehensive stock control with track and trace
Performing a stock take with track and trace is instant, and real time, and you can view and manage stock in specific sites, warehouses, and even in specific processes. You can even managed ‘estimated’ quantities of product, perform ripening, sales, dispatch, invoicing, and all other functionality required to run a contemporary fruit processing pack shed.
Track and trace fresh produce fruit & vegetable
InTouch Labels is a full-service label printing operation able to produce many types of custom labels. We offer a range of standard custom label products, and can create almost any specialized label to meet your exact application. Our range of custom labels include: The Kennedy Group has served the produce industry for decades. Our labeling and packaging products continue to evolve, as industry needs change. Today, our labels are integral to the success of the Produce Traceability Initiative (PTI), helping to ensure electronic traceability for every container of produce throughout the supply chain.
Capitalizing the hardware needed for ASN might best be viewed as an opportunity cost, suggests United Fresh's Vaché. One unnamed distributor upgraded to a voice-pick system in conjunction with ASN implementation. Savings from a reduction in pick errors were calculated at $500,000, an efficiency gain that will increase in importance as mixed pallet loads become more common.
We believe the next step to further identifying independent smallholders is through engagement and verification. We are communicating our sourcing policy as it relates to the legality of their land, crops, and protection of conservation areas. Suppliers who have been identified are expected to submit their data and sign a statement of compliance with our sourcing policy. We then use the data to map out the location of their estate and overlay this on the provincial spatial plan for verification.
Fresh fruit and vegetable traceability shouldn't be scary. It is a good thing that will only improve the industry. Yes, it will cost money to implement a traceability system, and yes, you may have to change some of your packaging/record keeping, but in the end, wouldn't you rather protect your brand and your product then risk a season-ending outbreak? If your competitors are using traceability labels, so should you. You don't want to take the blame for an outbreak simply because you can't prove you weren't involved.
Use the recommended label pilot study validated the use of both 4 x 6 inch (thermal) labels and 8 ½ x11 inch(laser) labels for use with the Hybrid Pallet Label. Which label stock is used will be an individual company decision, based on the label stock which best meets the commercial needs of individual companies (e.g., what equipment is already available in an operation)and which best accommodates the number of GS1-128 bar codes required on the label.
Track and trace fresh produce fruit & vegetable
DiMuto, a tech-based trade solutions platform that provides end-to-end supply chain visibility for global businesses, has expanded its footprint into the USA by closing a deal with major citrus packer Fancher Creek Packing. Using DiMuto’s Track & Trace blockchain solution, Fancher Creek will tag citrus fruits, including oranges, lemons and grapefruits, from the US to various parts of Asia.
Located in Visalia, within the agricultural San Joaquin Valley, Fancher Creek’s packing facility is strategically situated in the heart of California’s Central Valley, which grows over 250 different crops, with an estimated value of US$17 billion, annually. Central Valley is also responsible for a quarter of the food production in the US. Fancher Creek works with growers, packers and shippers to provide citrus produce to the rest of the US, as well as overseas markets, such as Japan and Korea. Additionally, DiMuto will aid Fancher Creek in expanding its distribution channels by penetrating Southeast Asian
markets in DiMuto’s trade network, including Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.
As part of its trade solutions, DiMuto’s Track & Trace blockchain technology is a low-cost, effective solution that integrates with supply chain workflows and existing systems to create traceability and accountability for each fruit, from farms, factories, cold chain to distribution channels and end consumers. Every single fruit is tagged with a QR label, photographed and tracked at each stage of the supply chain to provide end-to-end, 24/7 visibility from farm to fork. Data is encrypted and loaded onto the distributed digital ledger, enabling verified documents and data to be shared on a single platform, reducing trade disputes over quality and strengthening trust amongst all parties.
Mr. Gary Loh, DiMuto’s Founder and Chairman, said, “We are tremendously excited to be working with Fancher Creek to break into the US market and establish a presence in California’s Central Valley. The adoption of our technology by more players across the global produce industry underscores the scalability of our all-in-one trade management platform. It is platform-agnostic and interoperable among the different blockchain systems currently used by the big international retailers, and we envisage a faster rate of market adoption for our trade solution as retailers are increasingly requesting for suppliers to go on the blockchain to complete end-to-end traceability. As such, DiMuto ensures that we meet the needs of our global clients by adhering to internationally-accepted and business-led standards.”
DiMuto was most recently inducted into the GS1 Singapore Solution Partner Program (“SPP”) to offer blockchained trade management solutions for member companies of the not-for-profit Global Standards 1 (“GS1”) based in Belgium. As part of the SPP, DiMuto’s solutions can be easily adopted by GS1 supply chain players all over the world for their trade management needs.
For more infomation:
Indian app promises to track and trace fruit & veg
A new app is promising to provide all the information you may need with a few taps on your phone. FarmLink, an Indian fruit and vegetable supply and chain company, will soon be launching an app called FarmTrace that will trace a product from the farm to the consumer. With a seed stage funding of Rs 200 million (2.5 mln euros) from its parent company last year, Pioneering Ventures and Syngenta, the agri-tech company intends to expand its geographical reach, strengthen its technology and contribute to the supply chain.
The FarmTrace app would help a consumer locate the store where they can find the right food and also get to know the location where it was grown and the nutritional factors that made it.
Founded in 2014, the agri-tech start-up obtains the fruits and vegetables directly from farmers through a network of collection and service centres. The produce is then delivered to established retail stores, hotels, cafes, e-commerce platforms, among others.
But the company is now going one step further by deploying a B2C consumer traceability app that can track the product from farm to shelf, allowing customers and consumers to get a transparent insight into when, where, and how the food was grown.
Economictimes.indiatimes.com reports how in the final stages of making FarmTrace, the app is available to all Android and iOS users.
While the app is currently available, the company says it is going through a phase of testing at Hosur in Bangalore and they expect to launch it in June. The pilot launch will be in Bangalore and will be subsequently available across states in India at a later stage.
Malaysia: Track and trace identification system for Durian
The Agriculture and Agro-based Industries has launched a track and trace product identification system designed for the Durian market in China. Its minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaacob said the Mi-Trace system would allow Chinese Durian lovers to confirm the frozen fruit they were buying was genuine and of Malaysian quality.
Slated to be fully implemented in June this year, Ismail said the system would ensure that the frozen durians exported to the country was not substandard.
He said frozen durian was picked as the pilot project for the traceability system due to increasing demand in large markets such as China and Hong Kong. "Consumers will be able to check the status and source of the durian to know for certain that it is from Malaysia," he told a press conference after launching the system at the ministry headquarters, near here, today.
During buyers will be able to check the details of the fruit by scanning a special barcode imprinted on the packaging through a smart phone application that would be made downloadable. The system, he said, had received the endorsement of Agriculture Quarantine Service Inspection of China (AQSIQ).
Some RM4 million worth of Durians were exported to China last year which was nearly RM 1 million more than in 2012.
Ismail said the ministry had found that exporters from other countries selling Durians labelled as Malaysian but were not from the country and was not on par with the highly sought-after Musang King variety which is only grown here.
Taking produce track and trace to the 'cloud'
What are your choices to protect your business and maximize your profit?
Flex²B (Flexible-to-Business solution by Oryx for the fruit and vegetable industry) announces that almost everyone can now afford a solution with the latest technology. And Oryx will demonstrate this at Fruit Logistica in Hall 6.2 Stand C-12.
Previously you needed to invest in software to automate and to add intelligence to your produce-to-market chain. Now Oryx has taken to the “cloud” to bring you a service delivered by the latest state-of-the-art technology.
Flex²B is a comprehensive solution that includes specific solutions for growers’ needs, track and traceability, pallet contamination, orchard management, deliveries, warehouse management, food safety, compliance, and more. It even has a messaging system so a direct message could be sent to a forklift driver to carry out an urgent and specific assignment.
Flex²B doesn’t replace your own business or accounting or ERP system. In fact, it integrates well with existing standards. What it does is add more business intelligence around problems that are particular to perishable produce. These problems, while common to most, also bring their own particularities. And Flex²B is easy and fast for any company to adapt to their own business rules and it brings quality metrics that translate into speedy executive decisions to control wasteful costs and to add more precious profit.
Even companies with their own in-house systems may find Flex²B’s new cloud services (the top 20 modules are available as cloud services) address specific opportunities or shore up weak niches of intelligence in the route to the produce market.
“Our smallest tracking unit is a box of fruit,” notes Oryx’s de Smedt. “The smallest trading unit or stock unit is a pallet. We keep track of everything up to box level. These logistical units are all numbered with an SSCC code in accordance with GS1 coding. We know precisely where which product is, both in stock as in transit, through our 'location' modules. Additional components, DESADV messages, customizations have been implemented during miscellaneous integrations. This is an indispensable tool for tracking & tracing. Flex²B can also exchange information with your prevailing software."
Oryx will be presenting their Flex²B technology at Fruit Logistica, Hall 6.2 Stand C-12.
For more information:
Jozef De Smedt
Tel: +32 227027606