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Why Product Traceability Is Critical To The Produce Business

Produce is one of the most important kinds of foods available to the modern world. An NPR article from 2011 cites statistics from the USDA that indicate that the average American eats 273 pounds of fruit and 415 pounds of vegetables every year. Although the produce industry needs several things to continue functioning, there are some reasons why product traceability is important to the produce business.

Compliance With The Law

In the Bioterrorism Act of 2002, the United States began requiring a record of every single product in order to get a better idea about where it came from and what potential dangers it may have. Although many produce suppliers have their own systems in place for produce tracing throughout the internal supply chain, it can be tough to track produce once it leaves an organization’s factory or processing center. Why product traceability is important to the produce business often comes down to the law, and tracking makes these laws easier to follow.

Investigating Sources Of Illness

In the event of a serious disease breaking out, it is important that scientists and medical professionals are able to understand where it came from. This is one of the main reasons why product traceability is important to the produce business. If the source of an illness or disease is understood, there is a greater chance that the ailment itself will be understandable and curable.

If there is a recall of any produce due to contamination, a tracking system will be one reason why product traceability is important to the produce industry. During a recall, specific groups of foods can be taken off the shelves. In this way, produce tracking helps prevent people from getting sick and produce distributors from tarnishing their reputation.

Keeping Product Information Consistent

The type of report that you use when you research your food supply will vary depending on the kind of business you have and what sort of produce you offer. However, there are plans in the works to standardize the entire produce industry in a specific type of report format. When information on these reports is consistent, it means that you can easily glean the information that you need about your produce.

Operational Efficiency

When you can tell how much of your product is going where, it makes you much more efficient at the manufacturing and processing side of agriculture. One of the reasons why product traceability is important to the produce industry is so that they can make their business more efficient. In today’s competitive farming industry, it is important that companies are doing all that they can to output more produce at a better price. Tightening up operations through product tracking and management will help you ensure that you are maximizing your production.

Tracking produce can only be a good thing for consumers, suppliers, and retailers alike. Online tracking, like the kind offered through the Produce Tradeability initiative, or PTI, will allow for efficient tracking because of its integration with nomenclature and its standard format. These improvements will reduce the risk of illnesses, make recalls less stressful to deal with, and, ultimately, save money for both food producers and consumers.