In the last decade, traceability has built credence as a necessity within the food production system. However, the path to provide a fully traceable product hasn’t followed a straight line, with manufacturing companies, processors and even the federal government vying for a voice in establishing full-scale traceability.
Today, the largest gap in the traceability of food is ironically the source of food—the farm.
In this CoffeeTalk recap, SureTrack PRO Sales Directors, Brett Andricks and Jeff Fjelstul breakdown the traceability, discussion: What traceability means for on-farm production, and how AGI SureTrack delivers the tools a farmer needs to achieve a full traceable product.
“As we get further and further down the path of traceability, we are seeing that the value is truly unlimited. And we believe that traceability platforms, our system especially, is vital to being successful,” Fjelstul says. “The more intelligence you have around what you have in the field and in the bin, the higher the premium you can earn.”
One of the hurdles often faced in the effort to create on-farm traceability is the immense amount of recordkeeping and paperwork required to verify every step of the production process: from seed bag to processor possession.
Andricks says that the amount of time needed to record and maintain the records of every field of crops, throughout the season and beyond, is a major deterrent for many producers, “If you look at how people are trying to achieve traceability today, there is so much manual input, so much labor involved. SureTrack takes almost all of the labor of the process of establishing traceability by having everything built into the pillars of the platform.”
And because every field, record and history is stored in one location, establishing and delivering traceability for premium opportunities is as simple as logging in to your account.
The team walked through the meaning and importance of identity preservation (IP), what the validations within each production phase mean for traceability, and how each SureTrack pillar guides a grower through the IP process to create traceability.
“Beginning with the seed selection tool and pairing that information with the Markets pillar, you can pinpoint the opportunities you want to grow for and select the seed varieties you need to do it,” Andricks says.
For Fjelstul, seeing the value that the Fields pillar delivers is exciting, “You don’t really see seed, it’s in a warehouse somewhere and then in the ground, but when the crop starts to come up, that’s where I get excited. But that is also where the record keeping and monitoring needed to maintain IP and traceability can become difficult.”
In addition to keeping track of crop histories, and keeping the weeds and volunteer crops at bay, growers must also accurately record planting and flowering and maintain isolation standards through the use of borders and barriers. Every event is another record to keep track of, and every record is additional time away from the maintenance of the crop.
In the Fields pillar, every event is captured and scheduled, allowing a grower to easily update when the event is executed or reschedule, if needed.
“AGI Compass is the piece that really creates that final added layer of traceability. You can look at history, you can view scouting reports, you can add pictures…anything you do in the field can be tracked and stored,” Fjelstul says. “You can upload and store all of that information as part of a specific field’s record. This tool is another component to drive transparency and visibility to the product in the field.”
At harvest, product can be segregated by condition, characteristic or other identity, allowing a grower to easily manage and maintain the condition and identity of a bin. Processors can see anonymous bin data and reach out. If a grower chooses to receive communication from a processor, SureTrack makes the connection. The decision, the data and the privacy always remains with the grower.
To learn more about how AGI SureTrack is delivering one of the most complete traceability products on the market, listen to Brett and Jeff’s presentation by clicking here.