Quick summary: Discover the importance of traceability in the fruit and vegetable supply chain. Explore how traceability solutions like TraceX ensure safety, quality, and sustainability. Gain insights into enhancing consumer trust and optimizing supply chain efficiency.
Globally, traceability in the fruit and vegetable supply chain is becoming increasingly crucial with consumers becoming more conscious than ever about the safety, quality and sustainability of the food they consume. They want to know where their fresh produce comes from, how it was grown and the steps taken to ensure its freshness and safety. Traceability offers a comprehensive solution to track and trace the journey of fruits and vegetables from farm to fork.
According to WHO, an estimated 600 million people globally fall ill and 420,000 die every year due to food contamination.
In this blog, we explore the significance of traceability in fruit and vegetable supply chains, its benefits for consumers and businesses alike and how implementing a robust traceability system can revolutionize the way we source, distribute and enjoy the fresh produce. Join us in this exciting journey as we delve into the world of traceability and its transformative impact on the fruit and vegetable industry.
India is the second-largest producer of fruits and vegetables in the world. The diverse climate, availability of natural resources, urbanization, and changing lifestyles are favoring the growth of fruit and vegetable supply chains for the future.
According to Verified Market research, the fresh fruit and vegetable market size which was valued at USD 144 million in 2020 is projected to reach USD 211 million by 2028, growing at a CAGR of 5.14%.
The demand for healthy and nutritious food is also driving this food sector. India has the potential of becoming a leading supplier of fruits and vegetables both in the local and global markets. Building agile, robust, and efficient fruit and vegetable supply chains is the need of the hour to address food safety challenges.
The story of the fruits and vegetables is long starting from the seeds to the final product that hits the supermarket shelves.
This includes the selection of crop varieties and seeds, planting schedule, farm management practices on usage of water, soil, nutrients, fertilizers and agro-chemicals.
This covers the sorting, threshing and handling processes. Sorting of infected crops is important to prevent contamination of the remaining harvest. The handling of roots and tubers without cuts and bruises is important. Harvesting methods is critical to preserve the nutrients in these crops. The timing of harvest is important for efficient and quality crop yield. Harvest tracking of crops helps in planning for post-harvest activities.
This has the following stages like pre-cooling, ripening and sorting and grading. Pre-cooling helps in extending shelf life of products. A number of factors are taken into consideration during ripening. Manual grading is carried out following washing, dehydration and packaging.
There are several treatments for the vegetables and fruits before packaging and storage. This is done to improve color, appearance and extending shelf life. It includes fumigation, acid dip, degreening, bio-pesticide treatment. On farm storage needs cooling chambers to keep the produce fresh for a short period. Packaging is an important link between the producer and the further processors. There is no pre-treatment and in some cases are transported without packaging due to the volume of non-edible portions. Packaging is done in baskets, gunny bags and corrugated boxes.
Temperature control of fruits and vegetables is important during transportation. Proper stacking and cushioning are critical to avoid sudden impacts. In some products, refrigeration is essential during transportation.
Optimum temperature storage requirements are required for the wide range of fruits and vegetables grown. The quality of the product, a lot depends on temperature control
This is further divided into Primary processing and Secondary processing. Primary processing activities include sorting, trimming, grading, washing, drying and packaging. There are a number of machineries, equipment and technologies used in these processes. The secondary processes include preservation techniques and value addition. Drying is the most traditional method used. Osmotic dehydration is a prevalent method used for some produce. Value-added products include syrups, concentrates, jams, juices, sauces, candies, pickling, and many more. Some products are also fermented to realize alcoholic drinks. There is also a large number of byproducts generated during these processes. A number of value-added products can be produced like dietary fiber, vinegar, and oil.
The produce is distributed to different channels which could include wholesalers, supermarkets, retailers, food services, and end consumers.
The creation of a robust seed-to-shelf traceability for the fruit and vegetable supply chain by incorporating technology will link together the farmers and the other actors in the supply chain to ensure the availability of safe and quality produce to the end consumer. The growing problems on food safety due to disease outbreaks and food contamination necessitate product recalls to ensure public health. Targeting these product recalls is crucial to take immediate action and prevent wastage and economical losses.
The solution to these problems is.
A traceable solution with all these requirements will build a transparent, reliable, and robust supply chain.
The supply chain of fruits and vegetables is complex and fragmented. Implementing blockchain technology in the fruit and vegetable supply chain addresses the consumer’s demand for food safety and quality. The end-to-end visibility and traceability help companies build trustworthy consumer brands.
Blockchain provides a single platform to capture and share data in real-time among the stakeholders, thereby ensuring trust and collaboration among them. The information is stored in decentralized and immutable digital ledgers. The data is recorded and stored in a verifiable manner and distributed across nodes simultaneously. As each stakeholder adds the data, every item will have a fully traceable history with established records. This data is shared among the players and thus builds consensus.
The farm to fork journey is captured at every stage proving the validity of the quality of the product. The transparency regarding the sourcing of raw materials and the fair share the farmers get facilitates the consumer to get engaged with that product. The consumer is assured of a quality and a sustainable product.
Smart contracts help in ensuring critical factors like temperature control, the freshness of produce, and contamination in this fresh food sector. Blockchain also addresses logistics and packaging issues, assuring a reliable, efficient and robust fruit and vegetable value chain.
TraceX blockchain-powered traceability solutions provide end-to-end traceability in the agriculture value chains. The pre-harvest, post-harvest, supply chain traceability, and analytics modules help to realize a robust supply chain
Labelling of the final end products with QR code technology gives an insight into the entire traceable journey that the produce travelled.
In conclusion, traceability in the fruit and vegetable supply chain is no longer a luxury but a necessity. With increasing consumer demand for transparency and safety and rigid export regulations, implementing traceability systems has become crucial for businesses in this industry. From enhancing food safety and quality to mitigating risks and improving supply chain efficiency, traceability solutions offer a wide range of benefits.
By adopting TraceX solutions, companies can gain a competitive edge, build consumer trust and contribute to overall advancement of the industry.