The global COVID-19 pandemic has brought to light the issue of food safety intending to call upon countries and decision-makers in the private sectors, civil societies, organisations affiliated with the United Nations and the general public to take action against food wastage and promote global food safety awareness. The WHO suggests the responsibility of food safety be shared by governments, producers and consumers alike, where every stakeholder play their role from farm to table to ensure that the produce consumed by us is safe and will not adversely affect our health, so as to reduce the socio-economic burden of foodborne diseases.
According to a health report by a European Food Safety Society, agriculture is one of the key players when it comes to assurance of food safety. Agriculture can extend support through increased production and minimal processing, sharing data on trends in production, processes, food prices and commodity use by supply chains applying a holistic and risk mitigation approach, and ensuring hygienic production, processing and distribution of foods with established monitoring systems at every step of the way.
Food traceability is vital to the food supply chain in order to keep a tab on the hygienic production and distribution. Traceability refers to the functions that trace the flow of foods throughout the production, processing and distribution stages. Traceability helps locate a product at any stage within the supply chain, because of which it becomes imperative for producers to have integrated systems in order to ensure effective control of the operations to avoid any form of contamination. Having a structured traceability platform can safeguard agriculture and food processing companies across the globe against any shortcomings regarding safety, allowing for a prompt response owing to the transparency and visibility in the chain, and accounting for diagnosis and mitigation of the incident.
Lack of visibility in sales and production cycles have been one of the major loopholes in the fresh fruits and vegetable production industry. Mismanaged inventories result in failure to meet the ever-growing demand for fresh fruits and vegetables. This has propelled the sector to make a tectonic shift from manual supervision to digital farm management platforms like Farm ERP to manage inventories, reduce losses associated with spoilage and work on sales forecasting, procurement strategies and ensuring food traceability and safety through a digital supply chain.
Agritech platforms have worked with companies in the past to source fresh produce directly from the farmers to the consumers an entirely digital supply chain to map all the operations. By providing the farm operators with an end to end digital and easy to use solution that covers the entire gamut of operations right from raw materials, to plantation, to harvesting, crop scheduling, scouting, processing, up until it goes for packaging and sales; ERP platforms are the future of food safety.
With traditional agriculture in India making a historic shift to next-gen technology like farm automation, Artificial Intelligence, GIS mapping, satellite imagery and big data analytics, the preference for ERP solutions is on a rise owing to the complete visibility of data and product life cycle across the entire supply chain from producer to the consumer for agriculture-based businesses.
Farm ERP is one of the most trusted ERP software solutions implemented by global leaders in the fresh fruit and vegetable industry. It offers high levels of technological support and features that can simply curb shelf-life and inventory-related losses, which boosting profits in fresh produce businesses.
(Views expressed in the article are author’s own.)