Reduce food waste
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Reduce food waste, make production and shipments 100% accurate
Strict inventory management ensures FIFO and no orphaned fresh produce inventory, no loss of inventory due handling processes.
Production management ensures every order is filled accurately, dispatch is planned in advance, and correct shipments dispatched on time, every time.
Sales dashboards help marketing and sales teams plan orders, schedule production, and identify any fresh produce that needs to be sold before it becomes waste.
Food traceability refers to the ability to trace and follow your food product through all stages of receipt, production, processing and distribution. Traceability is a risk management tool that FBOs can use to react to a food safety issue.
You should develop a one step backwards, one step forwards approach. This approach will allow you to identify which food and ingredients were purchased from which suppliers – known as primary production – and which foods were then sold on to business customers – known as consumption.
Why is Food Traceability in the UK Important?
With the complex, around – the – world supply chain of the modern food industry, the ability to pinpoint a potentially contaminated batch of food is imperative for keeping consumers safe from harm.
The traceability system is invaluable whenever there is a food safety issue. FBOs should have a traceability process in place to be able to respond quickly to such incidents.
When certain products need to be pulled from sale, easily knowing where your products have come from, and where they have gone to, means you can help prevent a crisis by withdrawing or recalling affected products.
Product withdrawal occurs when a product has gone from a producer to the next stage in the supply chain, but has not yet reached the consumer. In the event of a food safety concern, the product would be withdrawn from the supply chain.
Product recall is necessary when a product has reached the consumer. In the case of a food safety event, recall notices must be issued. Consumers also need to be made aware to not use the product, and to return it where necessary.
By keeping traceability records of your products, you will help to minimise the scale of a withdrawal/recall event.
Regulation (EC) No. 178/2002 considers a whole batch, lot or consignment unsafe unless it can be demonstrated otherwise.
This means that, in the case of a food safety issue, if an FBO cannot prove the safety of a batch, all potentially contaminated products must be removed from the marketplace. This could have a huge financial impact on businesses. Therefore, it is imperative that you have measures in place to ensure food products within a batch can be traced and demonstrated as safe for consumption.
Any FBO in a food supply chain could be responsible for initiating a food withdrawal/recall, depending on where in the chain the food safety incident is identified. Examples of businesses where this may occur could include producers, processors, manufacturers and packagers.
A choice of interfaces to suit every environment gives your team a simple fresh produce business management tool.
- Manage fresh produce inventory stored at an unlimited number of sites / packhouses, and unlimited warehouses
- Manage and monitor the storage and status (ie: in processes such as sorting, grading, cooling, ripening etc) of all fresh produce inventory, regardless of its state
- Manage fresh produce inventory in bulk storage (ie: produce that is not in bins or containers), bins & containers, pallets, palletized, and shipping containers
- Manage the fresh produce inventory packing, grading, sorting, washing processes
- Track the movement history of all fresh produce inventory, captured in the background, providing an audit trail of which produce was stored where at what times, and moved by whom; providing an unparalleled background traceability management for all produce in the packhouse
- Easily move fresh produce inventory between cool rooms, ripeners, hyrdro-coolers, and warehouses
- Manage packed (finished) fresh produce inventory that is both on and off of pallets
- Assign non palletized fresh produce inventory to existing pallets or remove from pallets, or move between pallets , or assign directly to orders or invoices
- Stock take fresh produce inventory based on comprehensive filters allowing rapid stock takes of very specific produce, or stock takes in specific locations, or for specific finished products
- Set sale prices for different types of fresh produce X customer X part X variety
- Fresh produce inventory management using unique identifiers for each inventory item, including bar code and human readable labeling
- Manage fresh produce that is stored across many sites, including sites that may be elsewhere in the country, or even across the world
- Manage and monitor expiring fresh produce inventory
- Manage and monitor fresh produce that belongs to other companies, with easy reporting and stock take tools that cater for external ownership of produce
- Fresh produce inventory bar-codes for stock control (optional)
- Optional encoded QR traceability bar-codes that can be scanned by customer or end consumer to show your selected traceability and marketing information
- Pallet, case/carton, fruit piece, consumer unit level traceability and labeling, including Print On Demand options
- Manage customer orders, sales, consignment and dispatch/shipping processes
- Native app for fresh produce inventory on Android tablets & phone
- Quality control for fresh produce
- Use the farmsoft API to access your data from any other software, financial package, payroll, Crystal Reports, ERP, etc.
- Create unlimited warehouse storage areas, which can even use 3D storage to increase accuracy in large cool rooms and warehouses. Assign rows, columns, and levels to each warehouse, cool room, hydro-cooler, washing, or storage area.
- Rapidly asses all fresh produce inventory within the business, making clear distinctions between produce from external suppliers, raw unprocessed produce, unsorted produce, ungraded produce, and fully packed produce. Increase the accuracy of fresh produce inventory using bar code traceability and advanced fruit labeling.
- For more details of farmsoft's Fresh Produce Inventory management features, download the farmsoft Packhouse Software brochure, or try industry specific brochures for potato inventory & traceability, tomato inventory & traceability,
Hugo (Antônio Jordão) Bethlem, PMA Fresh Connections Brazil
Strategies to reduce waste - Reduce fresh produce waste, increase accuracy
"We are what we do, but we are especially what we do to change," said Hugo (Antônio Jordão) Bethlem in his dissertation at PMA Fresh Connections Brazil.
Modern consumers, with their greater access to information, are increasingly prepared to make good buying decisions. They are no longer only concerned about the quality and price of products, but also about them being produced sustainably.
Paradoxically, there are so many options in the stores that is almost impossible to make a decision and buy what you really wanted.
Nowadays, there is also too much waste; according to the British Association of Industrial Engineers (IME) in 2013 half of all food produced worldwide was wasted.
"The change has to come from those who produce, distribute or sell fruits and vegetables, because it is our responsibility," said Hugo.
However, according to Stefan Adriaan Coppelmans, CEO of LA VITA AGRO ALIMENTOS ABGROINDUSTRIA LTD, it is utopian to imagine that we will ever be able to completely end with waste.
"Waste is like nails; you always have to cut them, because otherwise, they will grow," added Copperlmans.
Waste is divided into tangible and intangible forms.
In the case of tangible waste, it is essential to choose the best packaging format, to reduce errors in logistics, as these can have a significant negative impact, and reduce the consumption of water and energy.
For its part, intangible waste is that generated by dehydration of vegetables during storage prior to processing, poor time management, re-work and high staff turnover, which is when talents leave a company after these have invested time and money on them.
Very long work shifts
In this sector it is very common for shifts to be very long, but we know that teams that work a lot of overtime become tired and lose effectiveness and dedication, which results in more waste and lower productivity.
We need to identify waste; asking our employees and conducting audits are useful ways to do this. Finding out what the biggest sources of waste are should be a priority in order to develop strategies to reduce it.
"Designing a solution is relatively easy. The hard part is to implement and maintain it over time," concluded Coppelmans.
Case study reveals how to reduce potato waste by increasing quality
As part of the Ontario Produce Marketing Association’s (OPMA) food waste reduction initiative, Value Chain Management International (VCMI) worked with EarthFresh Foods and growers to identify ways to reduce waste by increasing the quality and value of table potatoes, from field to consumer.
The case study, the first of four being developed during the project, describes how tools and techniques presented at workshops hosted by OPMA help businesses reduce all types of waste. This is because food waste is a visible symptom of wider opportunities to improve business performance.
The case study describes causes found to influence the production, handling, storage and grading/packing of table potatoes, and how these causes can be managed to enable table potatoes to be marketed strategically. This results in producers and downstream businesses having the opportunity to increase revenues and reduce costs in ways that are not otherwise possible.
Examples of what is achievable from proactively managing the determinants of quality and value include the fact that a 29 percent increase in pack-out rate equates to a 74 percent increase in grower margin. On a 50,000 lb load of potatoes, this amounts to a $6,000 increase in grower returns. Potatoes typically cost $4,000 an acre to grow.
Tom Hughes, President of EarthFresh, stated, "EarthFresh is very pleased with the results of the OPMA potato study undertaken in cooperation with Value Chain Management International. We feel that everyone can improve their potato operations in some way. This study shows how important it is to try to do even the little things correctly; and that, if you succeed, the rewards can be very substantial. Thank you to both VCMI and the OPMA for producing such an inspiring report."
You can read the full case study here.
For more information:
The Ontario Produce Marketing Association
Tel: +1 416 519 9390
Reducing produce waste and carbon footprint with Xtend® packaging
The greatest environmental challenges that face the fresh produce industry are food wastage and carbon emission during transportation. According to the Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO), 1.3 billion tons of food worldwide are thrown away annually. This represents 1 third of all the food that is produced. Interestingly, the vast majority of food is lost during the supply chain and then to a lesser extent during consumption. In order to mediate food wastage, fresh produce distributors often opt for air as opposed to sea freight which further compounds the environmental impact. The amount of carbon emissions per mile by air is over 30 times more than by sea freight according to the Carbon Fund and air freight is substantially more expensive.
The good news is that using Xtend® MA/MH freshness preserving packaging is an affordable solution that directly addresses these issues by significantly extending the shelf life of fresh produce often permitting sea freight, reducing wastage and increasing the amount and quality of fresh produce that arrive to market.
A study published by Wageningen University indicates that CO2 emissions are reduced by between 92-95% when transporting fresh produce via sea freight (Tables 2 - 4). Nevertheless, sea freight is attainable only when fresh produce is packed in StePac’s Xtend® MA/MH packaging, which preserves quality and freshness en-route. In the study, white asparagus is transported from Peru to Holland, green onion is transported from Egypt to the UK and cherries are transported from Chile to the UK by sea freight and all benefit greatly from using Xtend® MA/MH packaging as opposed to air freight.
Xtend® MA/MH packaging also proves beneficial for USA customers who transport broccoli by land. In combination with vacuum cooling, 33% more broccoli is packed in the same container space while reducing total gross weight by 30% in comparison with packing in ice (Fig. 1). The elimination of ice enables 28 instead of 20 pallets of 64 cartons to be loaded per truck due to weight reduction. By eliminating ice, waxed cartons, which are non-recyclable and expensive to dispose of, can be replaced by recyclable non-waxed carton. The innovative approach results in fewer shipments, saving up to 40% on logistic costs, cutting CO2 emissions from 359 Kg/t to 215 Kg/t, a 40% reduction in carbon print (Table 4). The benefits continue; the use of dry, iceless Xtend® MA/MH packaging for broccoli is also superior to packing with ice in reducing microbial load, hence adding to food safety.
Fig. 1. Broccoli packed in ice in waxed cartons before shipment (left) and broccoli packed in iceless Xtend® modified atmosphere packaging (right).
A survey which includes several customers who transport fresh produce commodities from South and Central America to Europe using Xtend® assesses its impact on the environment. The survey reveals reduction in wastage due to less spoilage and weight loss depending on the produce and supply chain. For instance french beans shipped from Central America to the USA showed a waste reduction of 6%, cantaloupe melons shipped from Central America to the USA and Europe showed waste reduction of 8% and white asparagus shipped from South America to Europe showed a waste reduction of 12%.
Food Traceability Template
We have created three example sheets for you to download and use:
How to Use Your Template:
- Sheet one responds to the one step back part of the supply chain, i.e. any product your business receives. Consider and record all your raw materials including batch or date codes. This is to ensure you can trace an end product back to where it came from, tracing the contamination. It will also enable you to eliminate good, safe batches from withdrawal/recall.
- The second sheet is referred to as work in progress, which is the stage between receiving the raw product and distributing your finished product.
- The third sheet is the dispatch sheet and is used to trace where your products then go, this responds to the one step forward part of the supply chain.
Keeping this record means you can contact buyers of your product, should there be any issue with your supply of it.
Products of Animal Origin (POAO) and Sprouted Seeds
Remember, if you handle products of animal origin (POAO) or sprouted seeds, you must also comply with more specific traceability requirements.
For products of animal origin (POAO) your traceability process must include:
- An accurate description of the product.
- The quantity (or volume) of the product supplied.
- The name and address of the FBO who supplied the product.
- The name and address of the owner – if different from that of the FBO – who supplied the product.
- The name and address of the FBO who received the product.
- The name and address of the owner – if different from that of the FBO – who received the product.
- A reference identifying the lot, batch or consignment.
- The date of dispatch.
For sprouted seeds your traceability process must include:
- An accurate description of the seeds or sprouts, including the taxonomic name of the plant.
- The quantity (or volume) of the seeds or sprouts supplied.
- Where the seeds or sprouts had been dispatched from another FBO, the name and address of:
(i) the FBO from which the seeds or sprouts have been dispatched.
(ii) the consignor (owner) if different from the FBO from which the seeds or sprouts have been dispatched.
- The name and address of the FBO to whom the seeds or sprouts are dispatched.
- The name and address of the consignee (owner), if different from the FBO to whom the seeds or sprouts are dispatched.
- A reference identifying the batch.
- The date of dispatch.
However, this additional information is not required for sprouted seeds after they have undergone a treatment that eliminates microbiological hazards.
It is important that your traceability system for POAO and sprouted seeds are updated daily. Some products, such as fish, may also be subject to further traceability and labelling requirements from sector specific legislation. You must be able to show the enforcement authority this information when requested.
Clearly the complicated nature of some supply chains can make it difficult to trace food products – most of us will remember the horsemeat scandal of 2013 – but even more than that, it is imperative that we all uphold our duty to keeping food safe.
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Producepak food manufacturing app
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Producepak provides a simple solution for food manufacturers, processors, food packers, fresh produce packers, pack-houses, fruit & vegetable packers, and food packers. Producepak concentrates on food safety, food inventory control, food expiry management, first in first out stock rotation, food order management, food production management in batches, food shipping & sales, food export / import. Use the Producepak Quality Control module to improve food safety, or turn on a simple food safety checklist to ensure consistent quality food packing and production.
Producepak food manufacturing app is a simple to use solution for buying, and selling food inventory, fresh produce, seafood, meats, and flowers. The traceability built into Producepak provides instant recalls, accurate food traceability, and easy to produce audits, and mock audits. Producepak provides tools to pack food, fresh produce, flowers, and hops. You can use Producepak for food manufacturing, configure the bill of materials for each food product line you manufacture, and manage the food manufacturing process by projecting required raw ingredients requirements and scheduling batches and purchase orders for raw food manufacturing processes. Accurate fresh produce inventory management reduces waste through better FIFO stock rotation, stock-takes, and inventory alerts.
Increase the efficiency of food inventory using options like scanning incoming bar-codes to reduce data entry & errors. Guarantee food quality with quality control testing systems. Customer feedback management, supplier quality, customer qulity standards.
Producepak food manufacturing app can project required inventory (and shortages), schedule orders to be packed in batches , automatic alerts to production line managers, inventory teams telling them which inventory needs to be moved to which production line; guarantees the correct product and quantity is packed on time. Shipping teams are guided through the dispatch process from picking using a phone or tablet (optional bar-code scanning), automatic picking, thru bill of lading, invoice, and automatic shipping notifications for customers, transport, and sales teams. Automatic generation of food labels, bill of lading, invoice, picking documents and more; reduces administrative burden. Easy audit & recall systems reduces compliance costs.