Traceability – Tracing back to the farms

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Trace Team

Apr 25, 2022 - 5 min read

Traceability – Tracing back to the farms

 

Traceability in agriculture refers to a technique that allows an agricultural product  to be tracked from the field to the consumer using unique codes. A lot code might be a number, a number-letter combination, or another identification that is specific to that particular lot. Every farm ought to have a traceability system set up that allows tracking of the produce from the field to the buyer (one step back, two steps forward).

The agricultural traceability technique based on data centers considers the full supply chain of agricultural production and distribution. A traceable service unit, which includes a traceability code and a data granule, is defined by each link of the chain.

By quoting three theories: traceable resource unit, info granule, and supply chain, the technique has met the depth, precision, and breadth needs of agricultural traceability systems of various enterprises. According to the award, the method is a fairly broad agricultural traceability system based on a data center. The data center will be heavily loaded as the volume of traceable information grows, necessitating high-performance computing and processing capability. The next study will give more attention to templates for the data granules of each link of various agricultural businesses.

To put it another way, traceability means that we can see a product’s history, from where it was made to where it was sold. We can follow the supply chain all the way back to the beginning. 

However, in order to maintain product quality, traceability must be effectively controlled. When it comes to supply chain management, it’s very important: when stores recall goods, they can find out where they came from, who was engaged in the production, and what chemicals (pesticides) were utilized.

 

Traceability: Tracing back to the farms

 

Food safety is aided by information sharing and supply chain management, which bring transparency to products as well as how and where they were created. Six distinct elements make up the food and agriculture traceability system:

  1. Product traceability refers to the farm’s location during the manufacturing process.
  2. The process’s traceability: how has it been produced? What was employed to change it and how was it done?
  3. Traceability of inputs: What materials were used to make the product or to cultivate it (for example, fertilizer and feed)?
  4. Genetic composition
  5. Diseases and pests associated with the product
  6. Quality tests, for example, are a good example of measurement standards.

Yes, tracking and tracing just one product takes a lot of time and effort, but it ensures that we understand precisely what’s in our products at the end. It gives customers more control over what they buy and why they buy it. And, if something goes wrong, we’ll know right away what went wrong and where it happened.

It can be encouraging to know that new technology, such as GMO crops on the market as well as the products made from them, can be followed and analyzed down to the smallest detail.

It’s critical to utilize some sort of product identification approach to keep track of the product’s history. This tracking information is frequently applied to a product’s barcode. A sticker pasted on the packaging or a tag via the ear for animals is the most common method for food or livestock animals.

However, electronic identification is being used to modernize this process. Chips or tags, located in the ears of animals or affixed to the transportation boxes of processed products, can now be read with such a scanner and carry information. The information is also saved in an online database or library.

 

Farm Traceability features:

 

Traceability can begin with the formation of an inventory purchase order or with the application of inventory, giving the farm the option of which traceability approach to choose and considerably minimizing paperwork and data entry.

All traceability records linked to the use of materials, workers, and equipment can be captured and archived (for quick recall)—ideal for HACCP, Global GAP, BRC, Farm Safe, PTI, ISO9x, and more. Materials and inventory can be labeled with system-generated Inventory Identification labels that include a unique inventory number that corresponds to the inventory’s traceability information. When using a mobile device, the stock number can be captured or placed onto a task page for subsequent entry.

Individual task quality checks, comprising time, officer, date, and notes, as well as simple and sophisticated agricultural quality control checks by QC officer PHI and re-entry notifications are displayed on the screen to ensure that the Pre Harvest Intervals and Re-entry Durations are not violated. Test results, such as soil analysis, residue analysis, or organic test results, can also be recorded observation tasks.  There are many ways traceability can benefit your agribusiness.

 

How traceability helps farmers

 

Traceability is not only being able to recognize and recall a specific lot of contaminated products protect consumers’ health, but it also helps you save money by avoiding having to return everything on the market. You’ll be able to identify what items were on the market when they were sold, or recall products when required in the event of a foodborne disease outbreak or a customer complaint. A functional traceability system is beneficial to your business since it may be used to resolve consumer complaints and concerns regarding the product sold.

Establish a system to track whatever you take into the market (where it originated from but when it was harvested and processed) and record what was sold if you direct market at a farmers’ market or other venues where the buyers are anonymous (crop, volume, date, and location). Keep records of what you put out for sale as well as how much you sell each day if you have it on the market. A traceability system also allows you to keep track of stock (e.g., first in, first out) and predict sales revenue.

Agriculture traceability is a popular concept these days in the farming industry. Its meaning is broad, but it mainly refers to how products are tracked throughout the manufacturing process. Consumers are clamoring for additional information on a variety of topics.

While 91 percent of consumers believe it is vital to know where their food comes from, only 12 percent have complete faith in the safety of the food they consume, according to a recent Trace One survey. As a result, farmers and agribusinesses  must strengthen their traceability requirements by implementing stronger product traceability procedures. There are numerous advantages to investing in traceability, but we’ve categorized them into three groups. 

 

Establish and Maintain Consumer Trust

 

Consumer campaigns such as “Eat Local” demonstrate a desire for greater knowledge about how and where their food is produced. This is known as “farm to fork traceability,” and it requires farmers to keep detailed records of the whole history of the items they send to market. As more information is required, product labeling is becoming increasingly sophisticated. A traceability programme can help alleviate this load by providing individual labels for every distributor with lot numbers so that the product can be tracked all the way back to the farm.

By combining all of your data into orderly reports, a traceability programme operated by farm software solutions can further boost consumer trust. Auditors can see all of your growing and processing history in one spot, making acquiring the certifications that consumers seek easy.

 

Reduce waste/loss

 

Reduced loss through managing inventory is one of the most compelling reasons for employing a product traceability program. The ability to track products throughout all stages of production allows for more effective problem-solving. Instead of removing all of your items in the case of a recall, you can trace individual products back to contamination spots using lot numbers.

Tracking goods from the field through shipment helps to avoid sorting errors, ensuring that products are always packaged and labeled accurately. You can replenish exactly what you need and better judge what types of wrapping work best for storing and sales if you keep track of your packaging material inventory accurately.

Traceability can also assist you in improving the efficiency of your farm’s labor. You can see where there are issue areas and react to them as they develop if you can link farm labor and processing labor along the entire process cycle.

 

Increase Productivity and Profitability

 

A better traceability program can help raise revenues by enabling more precise pay calculations, including piece-rate pay techniques, in terms of being able to track personnel to detect issues in areas of productivity. By enhancing production incentives, piece rate calculations can save the farm money.

The capacity to track yields over a period can also aid. Farmers can make data-driven decisions and build the best production methods with traceability and an efficient farm record-keeping system.

In the agricultural industry, traceability will become increasingly vital. To remain competitive in today’s markets, farm owners and agribusinesses must develop and maintain reliable traceability processes.

 

Conclusion 

Traceability is all about connecting the actual flow of items with the flow of matching information. The industry has set uniform rules to ensure supply chain continuity and transparency. External traceability requires all detectable items to be uniquely identified and information to also be decided to be shared between all affected distribution network participants on labeling requirements and related paper and business documents, while internal traceability requires all traceable products to be uniquely identified and information to also be shared between all affected distribution network attendees on product labels as well as related paper and industry documents.

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