At Fresh Summit 2017 we had a closer look at traceability solutions. Traceability is at the heart of modern, industrial agriculture – and global brands like Del Monte or Driscoll’s depend heavily on traceability solutions to provide a reliable, consistent product.
The technology offers a lot of exciting scenarios: In the future the grower can be notified that apples from a certain tree have a better appearance in store than form other trees. They can find out if a picker does not wash his hands – and creates quality issues thousands of miles away in the supermarket. Breeders might learn that they need to change the DNA of a certain berry to accommodate longer journeys.
Quality control is changing fast: In the past it helped the industry to ‘accept’ or ‘reject’ produce. Now it tells us why, where and how.
Factors like the advent of extremely precise, cheap and mobile sensors for temperature, humidity, movement and atmosphere, the ‘cloud economy’ and big data have led to an explosion of traceability solutions – and the sector is still evolving. A lot of data gathering is still done by hand. We expect this task to be taken over by machines, robots, video cameras and sorting technology very soon. We also expect more data to be used for ‘total traceability’:
Drones, picking robots, satellites, surveillance cameras, automatic irrigation and fertigation systems, trucks, ships, even supermarket shelves will gather data in the future. This data needs to be combined into a compact data set which is then connected with every piece of produce. We might then be able to hold an apple in our hand and determine where it was grown, on which tree, the name of the picker, the temperature in the truck, the amount of pesticides applied, shipping durations etc.
The next step will be prediction: What volumes do we expect from certain trees, certain growers? How long will the shelf life be? Should the grower harvest sooner or later? Apply irrigation, fertigation, pesticides – more or less?
Let us have a look at where we stand today – in our upcoming edition of THE FRUIT WORLD.
If you like to read the article please click here to subscribe to THE FRUIT WORLD magazine
If you like to know more about the publication, readers, distribution and advertising options click here.
If you like to advertise in THE FRUIT WORLD click here.
If you like to order the FRUIT WORLD MAP click here.