Traceability – What's It All About?

Tanja Folnovic

Agronomy Expert

In recent times, the accurate and timely traceability of products and activities in the supply chain has become a new factor in food and agribusiness. Increasingly, consumers in many parts of the world demand for verifiable evidence of traceability as an important criterion of food product quality/safety. Food safety and traceability are currently at the forefront of both government and industry discussions around the world.

Traceability is the ability to follow the movement of food through specified stages of production, processing and distribution. The traceability or product tracking tool should be able to identify at any specified stage of the food chain (from production to distribution) from where the food came and to where the food went, as appropriate to the objectives of the food inspection and certification system.

It plays a significant role in helping businesses be competitive in the domestic and global market place. The ability to trace a product through all stages of production on farm, processing, distribution, transport and retail to the end point, or consumer, is becoming a standard business practice for all involved in today's food supply chain.

The benefits of traceability are widely recognized. Yet for small-scale farmers in developing countries, especially farmers producing horticultural and other fresh food products, traceability requirements can represent barriers to trade. The market for safe and traceable food can exclude small-scale agricultural producers who lack the resources to comply with increasingly strict standards, particularly requirements for tracking and monitoring environmental and supply chain variables through sophisticated technologies.

Traceability is a valuable business tool for farmers, due to the ability to trace a product through all stages of production and distribution.

Traceability is a tool for meeting the expectations of buyers and end users and for assuring them that a grower is indeed meeting their requirements. Consumers expect people to know what happens to food products at every step of the way. They are becoming more concerned about food safety, and certain segments of the population are becoming more concerned, for instance, about how food is produced, whether it is organic, or minimal chemical use.

Adopting traceability is not a choice. It’s a question of how do we do this in the best way possible, and how do we take advantage of the opportunities that are emerging.

Agrivi promotes best production practices for over 100 crops, with detailed record keeping of working hours, pest protection, fertilization and geographical locations of fields on which a particular crop is being grown. Reporting feature will ensure that the produce is linked to real data illustrating how it was treated throughout the growing season and on which location. This will ensure a competitive edge and easier access to buyers of harvested produce.

Register in Agrivi now and increase the level of your work's traceability easier than ever.