With rising incidences of unsafe food in global supply chains, food safety has become critical for both businesses and consumers. In the agricultural sector, the accurate and timely traceability of products and activities plays a vital role in the supply chain.
Traceability is the ability to identify the origin of food and its sources particularly when fruits and vegetables are found to be damaged when it reaches its destination. This model helps an organization to locate a product that goes through various stages from production to consumption.
Traceability helps the consumers get a clear picture of what happens in the food products at every stage. Customers have become more concerned about food safety and are more curious to know how the food is being produced and what they are eating is of minimal chemical use. Also, the demand for fresh food has been increasing since more and more people have become more conscious about their health.
Traceability plays an important role in helping businesses be more competitive in both domestic and global markets. The ability to trace a product through all stages of production on farm, distribution, and transportation to the consumer has become a standard business practice to all the organizations involved in the food supply chain. It is also a tool for meeting the expectations of buyers and end-users and assuring that the products harvested are meeting the requirements.
When we talk about traceability, one company that has been able to find a solution and bridge the gap between the local farmers and the customers is Farmers Fresh Zone. Farmers Fresh Zone is a Kochi based Agri-tech start-up in Kerala which provides pesticide-free safe to eat vegetables and fruits to the consumer sourced directly from the local farms.
The organization’s unique model encourages the farmers to use the latest technologies related to farming to track and use good agricultural practices (GAP) and reward them with better prices from their yield. Every product has a QR code tracker where consumers can get all the details about the farmers who are growing their fruits and vegetables and other details such as the pesticides used in the harvest of the products.
The organization also arranges farm visits to its costumers so that they get firsthand experience of how the products are been harvested without the use of harmful pesticides.
Benefits of traceability:
- It helps in building trust between brands and their customers
- It allows an organization or a brand to have complete visibility and control over products at every stage of production.
- Improved customer confidence helps in the branding of the organization and fetch higher value in the market and traceability can help prevent contamination or mixing with lower value produce thus guaranteeing product authenticity.
Traceability and transparency in food allow an organization or a brand to recognize malpractices in the food supply chain thus enabling better management and quality standards in the food produced.
Food waste has become a major concern in this sector. According to IBM Food Trust, a major chunk of food produced, end up been thrown in the trash since the quality of the food reaching the customers are low and due to insufficient infrastructure, some brands or organization related to the sector are unable to find a solution to this massive problem. As a result, more companies are seeking traceability as a perfect way to keep track of the products at every stage.
Farmers Fresh Zone helps the farmers get better value for their yield. The organization helps the farmers follow Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) so that their produces are safe to eat for the customers. Consumers are resorting to healthier eating habits as they have become more concerned about their health and through this platform, the organization is helping the rural farmers turn profitable and directly reach out to their customers. It helps urban consumers eat safe by providing them with locally grown products farmed using standardized practices. Through this, the company also supports the local farmers and helps them achieve a better way of life.