Fresh Produce Traceability

  1. Defining your traceability requirements
  2. Recalls, audits, mock audits
  3. Fresh produce inventory management system
  4. Supply chain transparency
  5. Block-chain traceability

Defining your traceability requirements

Fresh Produce Traceability is much more than applying a label to the packed fruit or vegetable.  FarmSoft delivers strict fresh produce traceability guidelines for supply chain end to end food safety & transparency. Using the fresh produce blockchain from, farmsoft also offers fresh produce blockchain access at a very low cost.

Ensuring that the traceability chain has no gaps in it is important to reduce the risk exposure of your business.  If there is a breach in the traceability chain, then the whole traceability enforcement system has failed and becomes a pointless expense.  FarmSoft ensures 100% accuracy of traceability throughout the entire life-cycle of fresh produce, from pre-planting, to post sales traceability guideline adherence.  FarmSoft ensures your business is not unnecessarily exposed, while minimizing compliance costs.

FarmSoft Packhouse Management software provides a strong platform for accurate recording of fresh produce traceability records, via a variety of easy and logical methods.  Risk exposure to the pack shed is greatly reduced by having resolution traceability guideline compliance, which in turn reduces financial exposure to the packhouse should a recall become necessary.  Accurate fresh produce traceability reduces the quantity of fruit/vegetables in a recall, and therefore reduces the businesses financial exposure.  High traceability helps to open new markets for fresh produce, and improves customer confidence in product quality.

Best practice standards for fresh produce traceability such as BRC, GlobalGAP, ISO, HACCP, CanGAP, EuroGAP, (and many more) are supported by FarmSoft, making compliance and audits easy and less expensive.

fresh produce traceability for fruit & vegetables
fresh produce traceability for fruit & vegetables
The FarmSoft fresh produce traceability system constitutes thousands of processes & guidelines that are integrated throughout the entire system, guiding users to record correct  fresh produce traceability details at the correct time.

FarmSoft Packhouse Management’s “Traceability” module isn’t a stand alone module.  Traceability is built into the core of FarmSoft, in every process, action, and document.  FarmSoft minimizes the data capture and entry costs associated with fresh produce traceability using various innovative techniques.

Download the FarmSoft Packhouse Software brochure or watch the fruit packing video.

Pack sheds and pack-houses are experiencing new levels of regulatory control in the pack shed and packhouse processes for fruit and vegetables. Contemporary industrialized fruit and vegetable packing has become increasingly regulated over the past decade. There are now literally hundreds of thousands of regulations world wide that relate to the Traceability and Food Safety of the production of fruit and vegetables for human consumption.

fresh produce traceability for fruit & vegetables
fresh produce traceability for fruit & vegetables

Recalls, audits, mock audits

A fresh produce traceability system must allow easy, and rapid recalls of fresh produce, packaging materials, the following list is the minimum recall and instant audit ability that should be achieved (this data should be available to the user within 10 seconds or less to demonstrate it is unadulterated):

  • Trace batch input materials and recall through supply chain to customer
  • Individual fruit/vegetable piece (based on piece label)
  • Packed finish product recall
  • Pallet recall
  • Invoice recall
  • Purchase Order (for source or batch input goods) recall
  • Suppliers Reference recall
  • Supplier Company recall
  • Manufacturer recall
  • Farming block/area recall (Requires FarmSoft Farm solution)
  • Location recall, based on storage location and date/date range

Note that all fresh produce recalls should also instantly provide associated quality control test results for easy reference.

Fresh produce inventory management system

A cloud based business management solution for fresh produce processing, packing, and wholesale can enforce most traceability requirements simply through its implementation, and should include these minimum functionality:

  • Traceability can start at the point of purchase order creation for inventory, or can start at the point delivery of produce from a supplier, back on the farm, before planting has taken place (if you are using FarmSoft Farm Management).
  • Choose from various traceability frameworks to implement based on your traceability and food safety standards and regional requirements.
  • Automated traceability reduces paperwork and compliance costs
  • Capture and archive (for rapid recall) all traceability records related to use of materials, employees, equipment – suitable for use with CANG.A.P., HACCP, GlobalGAP, BRC, EureoGap FarmSafe, PTI , ISOx and more…
  • Materials and inventory can be issued with system generated Inventory ID labels which contain a unique Inventory Number that relates to the inventories traceability details. The Inventory Number can be recorded via a mobile device when used, or entered onto a task sheet for later entry; this method makes recording of inventory very rapid and accurate.
  • Individual task Quality Check by QC officer, including time, officer, date, and notes (see FarmSoft Quality Control)
  • The FarmSoft system will reject delivery of produce that is still within a PHI/Pre Harvest Interval or withholding period.
  • Unauthorized harvests will be rejected upon delivery to ensure maximum quality of fresh produce traceability
  • Share your choice of supply chain information using the FarmSoft Traceability Code – allowing either customers or end consumers to rapidly access your selected traceability and marketing information by simply scanning a bar-code with their smartphone or entering a code online
  • Strict control over the Fruit Packing Process ensures traceability is maintained even when mixing fresh produce from multiple origins, essential for fruit packing traceability
  • Strictly automated Fresh Produce Inventory / Fresh Produce Stock Control and Mobile Inventory ensures traceability enforcement
  • Orders, Contracts, Sales, Invoice, and Dispatch processes are tied to exact pallet ID, inventory ID, batch ID, and container numbers, ensuring instant traceability from either end of the supply chain

FarmSoft Fresh Produce Traceability Software manages every facet of fresh produce traceability for  a wide range of fruit, vegetable, coffee, flower, hop, and other fresh produce packing requirements. Combine FarmSoft Packhouse software with FarmSoft Farm Management ERP to create seamless traceability from pre-planting to post pack shed sales.

FarmSoft Packhouse & Pack Shed Software ensures that all fruit and vegetable (and other types of fresh produce such as salads, lettuce and loose leaf) are labeled and traced upon arrival at the Packhouse or Pack Shed.

Fruit and vegetables can be bar-coded upon delivery to the Packhouse (or labeled in the field if chosen).  The bar-code will identify the fresh produce for its entire lifecycle ensuring strict adherence to traceability levels such as GlobalGAP, PTI – Produce Traceability Initiative, HACCP, ISO, BRC, FarmSafe, and more.

Fresh produce is scanned when sorted in the pack shed, this ensures Packhouse and Pack Shed managers know where all produce is at all times, and are able to view the history of the movement of fruit and vegetables to trace any potential contamination points that may occur during the pack shed or Packhouse processes.

FarmSoft Fresh Produce Traceability Software provides an extremely high level of traceability management and transparency; all the way to the individual piece of fruit if chosen. Traceability labels can be applied at many levels throughout the packing and manufacturing/value add process.

Supply chain transparency

The ability to share supply chain information with your partners in the fresh produce chain is important. Share your choice of information with customers, end consumers or both. Use your choice of  block-chain, or traceability bar-codes, code labels, or have the labels tailored to your specification.

Scan Consumer Unit Barcode

fresh produce traceability for fruit & vegetables
Fresh Produce Traceability

Scan Trade Unit Barcode

fresh produce traceability for fruit & vegetables
Fresh Produce Traceability

Enter Code from any Unit

fresh produce traceability for fruit & vegetables
Fresh Produce Traceability

Why use block-chain or supply chain label sharing tools?

End consumers are 80% more likely to choose fresh produce that has an open traceability policy over product that does not have open traceability. Truth is, very few consumers will ever lookup a traceability code, however, they want to know the option is available. For your wholesale and food service customers, instant access to quality control information can assist them in decision making processes and increases customer confidence and supply chain traceability.

How can end consumers users scan traceability information?

Fresh produce traceability guide
Fresh produce traceability guide

Its easy, they can use one of many dozens of free apps on their iOS or Android device – many users will already have these apps installed. Simply use an app like Google Goggles, Bar-code Reader, Shop Savvy etc. Once the bar-code is read the information relating to the fresh produce is automatically shown to the user via a web page. For example, try scanning the bar-code below:

Who do I share the information with?

If you place labels on retail units, obviously only your customers will have access to the code. If you place codes on consumer units, end users will also have access to your choice of traceability information.

What information can I share?

Turn on or off the following details:

  • You can write a few paragraphs about your company, quality, and produce. This will be shown at the start of all traceability results
  • Company Name
  • Company Logo
  • Produce, Variety
  • Traded Unit/Finished product name
  • Batch Number
  • Batch Pack Date
  • Land Origin
  • Weight & Measure
  • Country of Origin
  • Shipped on Pallet Number
  • Pallet Creation Date
  • Ship Date
  • Transport Company
  • Transport Reference
  • Invoice Number
  • Sales order Number
  • Customer Reference (from Sales Order)
  • Invoice Custom Field 1, 2, 3, and 4
  • Quality Control Results
What labels can I use?

Use standard traceability labels built into farmsoft, or request a tailored label built to your exact specifications. Labels can be virtually any shape and size, and contain any information you wish to show in human readable format or encoded into your chosen format of bar-code.

Fresh Produce Traceability

Fresh produce traceability is a business process that enables trading partners to follow products as they move from field through to retail store or food service operator. Each Traceability Partner must be able to identify the direct source (supplier) and direct recipient (customer) of product.The first priority of traceability is to protect the consumer through faster and more precise identification of implicated product. This is critical if the product must be withdrawn from the supply chain.This document serves as a best practice guide to implementing traceability in the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable (Produce) Industry. The best practices recommended are based on global standards for supply chain management and product identification. These standards were developed by industry to optimize business practices across supply chains world-wide.

What is the scope of this fresh produce traceability guideline?

■ Applies to fresh fruit and vegetables for human consumption.

■ Traceability practices from grower to retail store or food service operator (i.e. external traceability).

■ Applies to all levels of product and shipping containers, including pallets, cases and consumer items.

This is a practical guide that is intended for those responsible for implementing traceability in their company’s operations and supply chain. The document provides a guide for fresh produce growers,packers, exporters/importers, and distributors as well as their customers and suppliers. Individual organisations may perform any combinations of these roles.

fresh produce traceability for fruit & vegetables
fresh produce traceability for fruit & vegetables

Traceability Definitions

■ Traceability is the ability to trace the history, application or location of that which is under consideration. [ISO 9001: 2000]

■ External Traceability is the business processes that occur between trading partners and the information/data exchanged to execute traceability.

■ Internal Traceability is the proprietary data and business processes a company uses within its own span of operations to execute traceability.1.4.2.

Traceability Standards are the common language of business and provide the framework required to support the traceability (business) process. This industry best practice implementation guideline is based on the GS1 Global Traceability Standard (GTS). Developed by industry, the standard defines the globally-accepted method for uniquely identifying:
■ Trading parties (your suppliers, your own company, your customers, 3rd party carriers)
■ Trading locations (can be any physical location such as a warehouse, packing line, storage facility, receiving dock or store)  Traceability for Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Implementation Guide Issue 2, May-2010 All contents copyright © GS1 Page 9 of 57
■ The products your company uses or creates
■ The logistics units your company receives or ships
■ Inbound and outbound shipments The GS1 Global Traceability Standard also defines the essential pieces of information that have to be collected, recorded and shared to ensure one step up, one step down traceability. The standard is applicable to companies of all size and geography.While the GS1 Global Traceability Standard may be implemented independently from any specific technology, best business practices require adoption of bar coding on cases and/or pallets.Businesses are further encouraged to adopt electronic messaging to exchange essential business information. These technologies will be explored in the sections that follow. GS1 is a not-for-profit standards organisation with member affiliates in every country. Together with local/national produce trade associations they are important resources that are able to help your company understand the most effective way to implement traceability with your trading partners. They can also help your company to connect with technology providers that serve the produce industry.Information on how to obtain a copy of the Global Traceability Standard appears in Appendix A1.4.3. Traceability Principles
■ A company must determine what needs to be traced. This is commonly referred to as the“traceable item.” A traceable item can be:□ a product or traded item (e.g. case/carton, consumer item)□ a Logistic Unit (e.g. bin, container)□ a shipment or movement of a product or trade item There must be agreement between trading partners on what the traceable item is. This ensures that both partners are tracking the same thing. Otherwise the chain will be broken. Each Trading Partner must define at least one level of traceable item for each shipment.
■ All traceable items must be uniquely identified and this information is shared between all affected supply chain partners.
■ At a minimum, the identification of products for the purpose of traceability requires:□ The assignment of a unique GS1 Global Trade Item Number (GTIN)□ The assignment of a batch / lot.
■ When a product is reconfigured and/or re-packed, the new product must be assigned a new unique product identification (i.e. GTIN). A linkage must be maintained between the new product and its original inputs.
■ When a Logistic Unit is reconfigured, the new Logistic Unit must be assigned a new unique identification (i.e. SSCC). A linkage must be maintained between the new Logistic Unit and its original input.
■ All supply chain parties must systematically link the physical flow of products with the flow of information about them. Traceable item identification numbers must be communicated on related business documents.

FarmSoft provides an easy to use fresh produce traceability software by integrating the worlds most common fresh produce traceability and food safety and traceability guidelines into the every day operations management.

Each Logistic Unit destined for a packing facility must be uniquely identified. Examples of logistics units include bins, totes, containers, trailers.To uniquely identify logistics units or to participate in electronic commerce, the best practice is to use the GS1 Serialized Shipping Container Code number (SSCC). This number is based on your GS1 Company Prefix number (supplied to you through your local GS1 Member Organisation), thus ensuring global uniqueness.Over time, your company will exhaust its pool of available GS1 SSCC numbers. It is important that you manage the re-use of SSCC numbers so as not to conflict with the logistics units already in the supply chain. An industry best practice is to restrict the use of SSCC numbers for a period of no less than one year.

To assist packers in assigning batch / lot at the pack house, growers should include on their Logistic Unit tag/label, in human-readable format, all relevant grower/harvest information. The information included should enable the creation of a meaningful batch / lot r and could include the harvest crew,field or plot of harvest, date of harvest, etc.

fresh produce traceability for fruit & vegetables
fresh produce traceability for fruit & vegetables

The best practice is to use the GS1 Global Location Number (GLN). GLN is a standard that can be used to uniquely identify your company and its premises. GLN’s can be allocated either by a GS1 Member Organisation or by your company using your GS1 Company Prefix.Additional information about GLN assignment.

Who are the trading parties?ABC Farms grows, harvests, and transports raw product to other companies (pack houses and/or cooperatives) which, in turn, receive, sort, grade and pack raw product received in bulk from ABC Farms into “finished product” configurations.What needs to be traced?ABC Farms is responsible for recording and maintaining information that will enable batch /lot assignment during the packing process. ABC Farms are also responsible for providing this information to its trading partners as product is delivered.How do they accomplish this?ABC Farms harvests their product and transports the raw product in bins or field boxes to their trading partners. As product is harvested, ABC records information related to each day's activity based on commodity, harvest date, field being harvested (i.e. Ranch/Plot, Unit/Block) and harvesting crew. A human-readable “field tag” is generally applied to the bin or field boxes as they are filled. The “field tag'' generally includes information as outlined above. To enable greater granularity during the batch /lot assignment, additional information could include specifics on the actual truck load of raw product being transported to their trading partner.ABC Farms is responsible for conveying the day’s activity/harvest information, (as stipulated in section 2.2) along with the number of units (bins or field boxes), to the trading partner that will be receiving the product. Although this information is contained on “field tags” affixed to each bin or field box, it should also be conveyed via a “receiving” or “trip” ticket containing all the information and that is given to the driver of the vehicle transporting the raw product to ABC’s trading partner.


Traceability solution for fresh produce