Growing consumer demand for more and more information about the choice of food purchases is pushing fresh food producers toward true traceability.
The major stores and fresh niche product opportunities are now part of our daily food consumption.
These markets and regulators are all suggesting that traceability is no longer an issue for the future, but that, coupled with the capacity to change direction whilst controlling yield and increasing business performance, it is here now.
Companies have been struggling to match production capacities to harvest outcomes and product to order to control product inputs and to maximise the use of various product grades.
They then attempt to match all that data to accountancy systems, label requirements, export documentation and B2B demands.
Cedar Creek Company’s software modules achieve traceability as an outcome of truly integrated business systems.
Cedar Creek's integrated software modules enable the customer to forecast harvest requirements or to resolve changing market orders against a database of available produce.
The need to change receipt choices or to reschedule freight loads and destination routes is ably handled by the system, and it enables staff to be informed of production changes in real time without causing disruption to the system’s preset fundamentals.
Traceability systems from Cedar Creek Company allow for outcomes such as:
- Improved grower payment schedules being matched to product quality
- Market impact information being returned to growers
- Grower planning matched to market forecasts and or order requirements
- Capacity to add value to other parts of the supply chain by sharing information
- Multiple use of information for a number of purposes, pack house management, quality assurance, supply chain management, production feedback, compliance and consumer feedback
- Consumer confidence through the assurance of quality and safety
- Traceability enables businesses to trace backwards to identify the origin of product and to facilitate its recall when food safety and quality standards are breached
Production system traceability involves the ability to verify the farming system and production inputs such as fertiliser, chemical sprays, water use, feeds and supplements, and labour work place conditions.
Process system traceability is the ability to authenticate any processing and post harvest activities and treatments, such as washing, drenches, storage conditions, additives or chemicals used and temperature conditions.
Pest and disease traceability provides the ability to assure that no prohibited pests or diseases are introduced to the market and, that in the event of an incursion, all products can be located.
Product identification technologies
Automated ID systems afford more reliable and enhanced traceability through minimising human error whilst speeding up ID capture processes.
Security assurance can be improved through identification any unauthorised product interference. Improved real-time data exchange, particularly with major customers and regulatory bodies seeking data in electronic formats ensures higher levels of traceability.
Barcoding - This technology involves the printing of a machine-readable code on individual packages or pallets. The code must conform to international standards so that it can be read anywhere in the supply chain. Cedar Creek Company provides a number of handheld and distance barcode scanners.
Radio Frequency ID (RFID) – RFID is the recommended technology for application in perishable product supply chains.
The price of RFID tags or devises in an open supply chain can often be a point of cost consideration. However, within closed systems the speed and accuracy of RFID affords a high rate of return on the investment.
Traceability for greater profitability
Improved traceability systems can also facilitate information exchange between businesses in the supply chain. Pack-houses grade and pack fruit for marketing and are intermediate on the supply chain.
The fruit can be graded in the pack-houses on a range of quality attributes such as size, colour, firmness, or levels of defects. However, the difficulty in returning data to the grower – the start of the supply chain - means that they do not receive very detailed information back from the pack-house, despite the fact that every individual fruit or vegetable has potentially been graded.
Enhanced traceability systems enable every bin of fruit or vegetable picked to be located within the farm and then tracked through the packing operation to the grade data.
This then provides feedback to growers of their pack-out information in terms of average bin performance for every individual bin.
The passing of traceability information back to the grower allows businesses in the post-harvest chain to share information in significantly more detail than was previously possible.
This is all accomplished at a minimal cost to the pack-house business, but can potentially add considerable value to the grower. A number of associated benefits stem from the exchange of such knowledge, including the use of the traceability system for logistics and packing planning.
Cedar Creek Company provides both the hardware and software for comprehensive supply-chain traceability, fully compliant with all industry standards.
Cedar Creek Company’s systems make the process of traceability transparent to the user, with reporting functions to suit all purposes.