Apr 11, 2019Traceability system works at Fancy Farms
Working with its broker Wish Farms, Fancy Farms participates in a Compliance with the Produce Traceability Initiative (PTI) program required for Wish Farms growers. This industry-developed program ensures case-level electronic traceability. In addition, the growers must utilize the patented “FreshQC – How’s My Picking?” traceback system, which links each package of berries to the picker in the field, accomplishing item-level traceability.
The system is able to provide specific information about each individual package of produce. If a circumstance were to arise where the safety of the produce was in question, this trace back system allows the grower to isolate a food safety incident and identify the exact area in the field where the produce was harvested.
“We put berries in one- and two-pound containers,” farm manager Dustin Grooms said. “This is Fancy Farms you’re at, but we actually take it to a broker – Wish Farms – and they market our fruit for us. The clamshells have a sticker called “How’s My Picking.” You can log onto that website and put that number in. We know who picked that container, we know what time it was picked, we know what field it came from and we know what variety.
“You talk about traceability, we have it,” he said. “Not many people can say that. Food safety is supposed to give you a marketing edge and give you more sales in the grocery store. You go to a store today and there’s five other shippers right there that don’t have that sticker. It does work. It does cost us extra money but we probably get better sales by it.”
— Gary Pullano, managing editor