November 2011: Traceability? There’s an App for That
When it comes to fresh food, shoppers increasingly want to know their food is fresh, safe, and where it comes from—and according to Nielsen, over 40% of US adults now have smartphones. The newest HarvestMark Traceability App for iPhone sets the new standard for delivering inside information about fresh food instantly—in the aisle or at home.
We’re excited to bring first-ever features to the produce aisle and meat counter including:
- Food safety notification to speed up communication in the event of a recall
- A “Talk to the Farmer” feature so shoppers can easily give feedback on the go
- Trace history feature, so a shopper can review previous traces
- Built-in QR-code reader
Item-level traceability customers now are reaching shoppers with mobile content—with no additional work required. In addition, our customers tell us they use the HarvestMark App to trace their cases or items with HarvestMark codes when they’re out in the field—or are telling their retail customers that they can do the same.
Try out the new HarvestMark App by downloading it here.
We’re not the only one’s who see traceability as a powerful way to reach shoppers. A major canned fish brand in the UK, John West, is using traceability is its new TV ads, providing the story behind the can. The company realized that its investment in traceability was an untapped marketing opportunity. View the TV ad here.
Curious about item-level traceability or converting to QR codes? Contact our marketing team to learn more at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brochures Still in the Tote Bag? Don't Worry. Here's a Few Key PTI Takeaways from PMA:
If you were at PMA Fresh Summit, you probably came back with a tote bag full of brochures, a head filled with facts and opinions on traceability, (and probably some flashing buttons). Here's the key PTI learnings I took away from the show:
- Many smaller growers and shippers we met didn't understand how PTI compliance differs from their existing internal traceability systems. We explained how to acquire a GS1 company prefix, to create GTIN lists following GDSN standards, to print GS1-128 barcodes within spec, and the VoiceCode algorithm. We explained the rationale for using a global standard for sharing data, and the benefits that will accrue to the industry from having electronic records throughout the supply chain. At this point they typically look worried about the cost and difficulty of getting compliant. Indeed, implementing this all "in house" would be a difficult and time-consuming task for a small grower or shipper. Fortunately, we've done the hard work and made a simple solution that's been deployed in over 200 installations. We provide all the hardware needed for less than a small company could buy it themselves, our software takes care of all the complexity of GTINs, label printing and data storage, and our experienced team helps customers through the whole process.
- Many growers and shippers are PTI compliant, and are promoting it as a point of difference. During any transition, there will be leaders and followers. That was clear at PMA, as we counted dozens of shippers who promoted their PTI-leadership to retailers. In fact, during a panel session on the PTI, Mike Agostini of Walmart reiterated his company’s commitment to PTI, and told the audience that a supplier’s PTI readiness would be included as part of the supplier scorecard in the future. We heard many shippers say that, regardless of the ROI of PTI, they didn’t want to be at a disadvantage to their competitors.
- Some growers and shippers don't realize they already have a GS1 number. That could be an expensive mistake. Before you apply for a new company prefix from GS1, you should enter your company name at http://gepir.gs1.org and check to see if you already have one. We did this at the show for a grower, and—lo and behold—discovered they already owned a company prefix.
- Hybrid pallet what? When? The hybrid pallet tag isn’t clearly called out in the PTI milestones, but many shippers are expected by their trading partners to add a Hybrid Pallet Tag to each pallet they ship by the Dec. 2011 deadline. The good news is: the HarvestMark PTI solutions come Hybrid Pallet Tag ready! Just add a scanner and you’re ready to print tags and store data. It also easily integrates with your existing ERP or WMS system to simplify trace forward.
By the way—you can always download electronic versions of our product data sheets here PTI Express and here Item!
Creating Value from Traceability
We're delighted that Frontera Produce recently announced they were adding HarvestMark item-level traceability codes to their produce, starting with pineapples. Frontera will use the HarvestMark platform to better interact with shoppers and sharpen its food safety communication programs. Frontera also plans to use the HarvestMark DailyShopper service to better understand product condition and retail shelf life. The DailyShopper service enables Frontera to get new insights into the quality and freshness of their products on store shelves. It's a whole new way to proactively manage the supply chain in partnership with retailers, by linking the first and last mile.
If you'd like to find out whether the HarvestMark DailyShopper service could help you visualize and manage your fresh supply chain, just email or call us at 650.264.6200.