The uptake of new technologies to provide traceability within the fruit and vegetable industry has increased over the last few years. This is partially in response to the recent food tampering and contamination crises, but also through an industry wide recognition that good traceability systems offer many benefits to producers.
Effective traceability systems offer specific information about the movement of produce within supply chains, data about consumer purchasing habits, increased production and logistical efficiencies, opportunities for longer shelf life and the reduction of product waste. Traceability systems rely on chain of custody data to record the movement of stock within supply chains and the record of this data begins at the place where produce is allocated a scannable label or code, which typically occurs at the packhouse.
With labelling occurring at the packhouse, a traceability gap exists in the supply chain prior to this point, where produce is still loose