Farm to fork marking & coding
Issued by TracePack - Apr 8th, 14:42
Today food manufacturers need to identify and track every ingredient for every one of their products from the farm, through processing, packaging, distribution and to the consumer. The farm-to-fork trend has seen consumers become more invested in knowing the origins and overall quality of their food and concern for sustainable sourcing and food safety practices has taken precedence in the move to greater awareness with food consumption globally.
Many consumers are loyal to specific brands. Historically, this loyalty was most apparent in the world of manufactured foods, stemming from the consistent quality that was difficult to achieve with perishable products. Today, the concept of a brand is being redefined, with private label brands being increasingly recognized and valued, and with perishable products being branded. Traceability advances the opportunities associated with branding food products that may have lacked a label before, allowing consumers insight into these products, allowing them to make a connection to a producer or processor that they would like to continue to patronize. Further consumer feedback to the producer or processor can lead to consistent quality that was previously more difficult to obtain.
Coding and marking is the way in which essential product and traceability information are displayed on products, labels and packaging. All foodstuffs are required to be marked with batch identification numbers. Whatever goods are manufactured or produced, a batch number or code – such as a barcode, serialisation code, and expiry or ‘best before’ date – is required to mark products, labels and outer packaging. The batch number displayed on the packaging makes it possible to trace the product throughout the whole process. The “farm to fork” philosophy is a comprehensive food safety strategy which guarantees that the end recipient receives a safe, high-quality product by using GS1 standards you can trace fresh foods from farm to fork.
Information can be shared throughout the supply chain to support your business needs and vouch for food safety. You can retrieve data to satisfy safety regulations, use as a baseline for replenishment strategies and ensure overall quality while eliminating waste.
Tracepack offers handheld coders to batch bulk bags of raw materials at the point of receiving to coding and marking using a CIJ, TIJ or Laser for the product itself on the packaging or wrapper or directly on the fresh produce and then the shipper and even the pallet. Being able to see the full start to finish process of an FMCG item through the manufacturing for the supply chain, including the raw material origination by scanning a QR code seems to be the latest trend.
Tracepack can offer various traceability solutions within the supply chain by not only supplying equipment but also using security inks with DNA as well as edible UV visible and invisible inks which can be marked directly onto fresh produce, thus allowing the supply chain to track down to item level and even raw material used in a batch, assisting in the event of a concern with the product for recall, as well as aid in counterfeiting measures.
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Globally, retailers and other businesses are beginning to recognise the damaging effects plastics have on the environment. Plastic is full of toxic compounds that are adding to an ever-increasing pollution crisis on land, sea, and air because unlike organic matter, plastic can take centuries to degrade.
A fruit sticker may seem an unlikely cause for environmental concern but removing it from food products could create huge savings in plastic, energy and CO2 emissions and with the move to item-level serialization on fruit and vegetables, allowing identification of each product unit instead of the packaging, is a powerful tool to fight counterfeiting and gives the consumer the ability to not only track the entire life cycle of the product through the supply chain but also allows product identification and a unique consumer engagement platform, thus enhancing the consumer experience.
The drive toward naked produce is gaining momentum, with producers under immense pressure to respond to the growing calls to reduce plastic waste. It’s no small wonder, considering that from 1950 to 2015, cumulative plastic production reached a whopping 7.8 billion metric tons – giving us more than one ton of plastic per person on earth.
According to World Health Organisation statistics, an estimated 600 million people in the world fall ill because of contaminated food. A shocking 420 000 of these cases result in deaths. The basis of most regulation and standard for food is quality and record-keeping or the traceability thereof, with the new regulation being enforced this does not only apply to the food premises but the environment throughout the entire supply chain of these products and requires a maintained traceability system and recall procedure is in place.