Farm to fork traceability
Issued by Traceability Solutions - Apr 17th, 08:45
The International Organization of Standardization (ISO) defines traceability as “The ability to trace the history, application or location of a product by means of recording movement of product through data capturing technology.” According to the European Union General Food Law Regulation traceability “means the ability to track any food, feed, food-producing animal or substance that will be used for consumption, through all stages of production, processing, and distribution.”
Traceability is primarily a way of ensuring the safety and quality of food and feed by responding to potential risks that can arise. It is essential when national authorities or food businesses identify a risk that they can trace it back to its source in order to swiftly isolate the problem and prevent contaminated products from reaching consumers. In addition, traceability allows targeted product withdrawals and the provision of accurate information to the public, thereby minimising disruption to trade.
In addition to food safety and quality issues traceability plays an increasingly important role in creating consumer confidence in products and brands. More and more, farmers and manufacturers are involved in helping consumers connect with the journey of their food from farm-to-fork. Whether through a kiosk at a retail outlet or a barcode scanned through a consumer’s smartphone, product technology providing consumers with additional information about the history of the product they are about to purchase can yield tangible benefits.
Traceability provides a means of handling consumers’ inquiries, creating a connection with a brand, and providing confidence through learning the origin and production conditions, for example, of the products they are purchasing.
Traceability Solutions can assist farmers and manufacturers with various technologies throughout the supply chain all the way to the consumer. Our products range from laser technology to mark the ear tags on livestock to branding irons to mark directly onto the livestock as well as software to track products to the consumer which means a complete end to end track n trace solution for Farm to Fork with information available to all that are involved in the process including the consumer. RFID tags can be used at the pallet level for automation and identification of products as well.
Barcodes and scanners can be used to allow traceability of livestock, from inception to movement of livestock from different farms, vaccines and medication to the sale of livestock to the abattoir, this resulting in the ability to trace the full pedigree of the livestock. Fresh produce can be tracked from the receipt of the seeds to identify the supply chain, the allocation to specific farms, identify seed to harvesting and then through the rest of the supply chain from packaging, distribution and end customer verification or authentication.
In our opinion the latest trends in Farm to Fork traceability are RFID and IoT solutions, Traceability Solutions can incorporate these solutions resulting in an end to end Farm to Fork traceability solution which would mean product security, authentication and quality control for the entire supply chain from Farm to fork, by incorporating IoT solutions we can identify the conditions and environment that the product was in at a specific stage of the traceability supply chain, thus giving the consumer peace of mind at the end of the day and the brand owner the ability to easily identify areas of concern when needed.
Click here for more information on MITAS
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.