Our Newsletter:
Traceability Insider

August 2014
How Digitization is About to Change the Rules of Your Business

June 2014
Food Waste, We are Fed Up, and a Gladson Case Study

May 2014
Ag Tech and the Power of Catchy Criticism

March 2014
Labels are Soooo 1990, “Thorny” food labeling law

January 2014
Oxymoronic Grocery Predictions and Big Data for the Produce Industry

December 2013
The Gift of Growing – Helping Kids Get Their Hands Dirty!

November 2013
Produce Brand Strategy, Visibility and Transparency

September 2013
A "Lean" Supply Chain, Knowing your Shopper

April 2013
Food Waste, The Rolling Stones, Raley's, and Tanimura & Antle

March 2013
First Look! FDA Releases IFT Traceability Report and Lessons from Europe's Horsemeat Crisis Every Fresh Food Brand Should Learn

January 2013
What Does the Future Hold?

September 2012
"Locale" Produce and Reducing the Impact of Recalls

January 2012
Making the Case for Traceability

September 2011
GTINs – the Devil Is in the Details

August 2011
Turbocharge Mobile Marketing with HarvestMark and QR Codes

May 2011
Traceability Insider

January 2011
It's a New Year. What's the latest on PTI?

May 2010
HarvestMark Makes its VoiceCode™ Solution Open Source

December 2009
IFT Publishes Traceability Report for FDA

Holiday Issue 2009
What Happened at the FDA/USDA Hearing on Food Traceability

September 2009
Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food

August 2009
How to Avoid Synching Without Trace

July 2009
What's the Value of PTI?

May 2009
Case-Level and Item-Level Traceability-What You Need to Know

April 2009
Still Have Questions about PTI? Don't Worry, You're Not Alone

March 2009
PTI, GS1, GTIN, GLN? HarvestMark's Got the FAQs

January 2009
The First PTI Milestone is Around the Corner

December 2008
A Pivotal Year for Food Safety

November 2008
FDA Solicits Public Comment on Enhanced Produce Traceability

October 2008
Produce Traceability Initiative Action Plan Released

September 2008
How Will Greater Transparency Enhance Your Business?

Español - 01 2012
Elaborando el Caso para Trazabilidad

Español - 03 2012
La Más Reciente Norma de la FDA es Efectiva Inmediatamente. ¿Debería Usted Estar Preocupado?

August 2013
How Walmart Could Implement PTI, Crowdsourced Shopper Insights

June 2010
How to Interpret the PTI announcement of "Goal Unchanged, Milestones Adjusted"

December 2010
An Update on the PTI

July 2010
Produce Traceability in Foodservice

February 2010
What's Going on with the PTI

March 2010
Consumer Attitudes to Traceability

August 2010
HarvestMark Launches Consumer Campaign in Portland, OR

March 2011
Have you heard of the PLU DataBar Initiative?

November 2011
Traceability? There’s an App for That

December 2012
It’s all new. Introducing HarvestMark 2013.

March 2012
The FDA's Latest Ruling is Effective Immediately. Should You be Worried?

June 2012
Do QR Codes REALLY Drive Shopper Engagement?

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September 2008: How Will Greater Transparency Enhance Your Business?

An Extract from a Deloitte Research Report: "The View from the Glasshouse"

Occasionally we'll forward research that we think is interesting and relevant to the produce industry. This recent survey by Deloitte found some interesting statistics on consumer behaviors and discusses their implications.

Product information of all types continues to become more prevalent and easier to access. Consumers can validate and learn almost anything they are motivated to learn about a product - its origins, ingredients, and how it compares to other products in terms of price, quality and availability.

In the past, clever marketers and advertisers shaped brands, but now consumers are increasingly empowered. Clearly, a "New and Improved!" message will no longer carry the day. Consumers are accessing a multitude of online resources to determine if a product's claims are true - particularly in the face of recent quality- and safety-related recalls of produce, toothpaste, and pet food. In Asia this trend is already extending to cell phones, enabling consumers to conduct the search at the point of purchase.

Information is fast becoming the primary currency of the sales process, and the resulting implications for brands are considerable. Companies will need to identify innovative and proactive ways to get accurate and complete product information in front of consumers or risk having others shape their products' reputations. The study finds that reputation is the most important influencer when consumers decide what product to buy. And while transparency makes it easier for consumers to determine the differences between competitive products, it creates yet another challenge for manufacturers: if a private label product and a pricier branded version are virtually the same, consumers may determine that there aren't enough differences to justify the price disparity. In order to offset this threat, brands may need to redirect their messages to demonstrate why their product is different or better. In fact, their communications may take on an additional flavor: "Here's how we'll prove we're better."

If companies can fundamentally address the issue of product transparency they could attain commercial success at a rate they haven't seen in the last decade. But it will be their responsibility to exploit this growing trend. If they don't, companies may find themselves so rapidly left behind they might not catch up.

What You See Is What You Get

With traceability now one of the industry's biggest challenges, transparency in packaging has taken on new meaning.
By Meg Major
Progressive Grocer - August 2008


Packaging trends have long been inherently linked to changing lifestyles and consumer preferences. But with more foods than ever being sourced across international borders, and a spate of recent foodborne illness outbreaks that seems to become more convoluted and confusing with each passing day, the case has never been greater for creating packaging applications that offer sophisticated and transparent solutions right on down the supply chain.

To be sure, pressure is mounting from retailers, consumers, and even some lawmakers for fresh produce and meat suppliers to provide more information on how and where their products are grown, and the conditions under which they're grown, stored, and transported as they journey from farm to table. Couple this pressure with the requirements of the forthcoming country-of-origin labeling (COOL) law, set to commence Sept. 30, and it's clear there's room for a bigger role for efficient, sustainable, transparent packaging.