Farmsoft uses the CHAIN-TRACE (TM) blockchain, created for fresh produce suppliers to protect their IP, and prove providence of their fresh produce while sharing only information they choose, with minimal cost. 

To use CHAIN-TRACE, suppliers do not need to buy new software, hardware, consulting, training, or need configure anything.

Simplicity, trust, Fresh produce packaging. 

Easy for Suppliers of fresh produce

Using your chosen CHAIN-TRACE blockchain enabled solution, automatically include QR code on your choice of BOL, Invoice, case, pallet labels.  Share only the information you want to share.

Purchasers of fresh produce

Scan the QR for instant verification and Fresh produce packaging details. No username or password, no app required, no registration.  (view sample Purchaser verification result)

End Consumers of fresh produce

Scan the QR on the End Consumer unit for instant access to the Suppliers chosen Fresh produce packaging and marketing information, provide product feedback.  (view sample End Consumer verification result)

How CHAIN-TRACE works...


Supplier data packaged

Fresh produce packaging file prepared based on a batch or invoice (or other supply chain data) by vendor software & sent to CHAIN-TRACE API (can contain any data).


New blockchain record

CHAIN-TRACE encrypts and stores file (off-chain), new blockchain record contains supplier, product(if singular), record type, file hash & name.


Purchaser or end consumer verification 

End consumers can verify & access data through web portal (enter a code), or by scanning QR (verification performed by multiple nodes). Vendor's client determines which data is returned for Purchaser or EC.

Historical retention

Blockchain records and associated file packages are purged after 4 years; as per food Fresh produce packaging requirements.


The Fresh produce packaging package (file) is stored off chain, the hash is stored in the chain to perform verification that the stored file matches the chain record, the file is unstructured may contain unlimited files, file formats (DOC, PDF, XLS, JPG etc) shipping documents, invoices, batch Fresh produce packaging / recall data, supplier details, verifications, quality control tests, lab tests etc. Enclosing a PDF file will resulting in it being displayed directly within the CHAIN-TRACE web portal. The file contents is chosen at the discretion of the Supplier and vendor software to allow complete flexibility and freedom of choice of data being shared on the blockchain. HTML contents are forbidden and will be rejected if added to the network.

Software vendors may not charge additional fees to allow their clients to use CHAIN-TRACE blockchain and are expected to add the API functionality to their software in a manner that does not require the Producer to perform additional configuration or training. Single file size limit 200k, additional storage available POA.

Fresh produce blockchain Fresh produce packaging app & QR codes:  Farmsoft uses the CHAIN-TRACE fresh produce blockchain.

Fresh produce blockchain Fresh produce packaging packing brochures:  [Fresh produce blockchain Fresh produce packaging packing]     [Farm management]      [RFID]

Fresh produce blockchain Fresh produce packaging app.

Software app for Fresh produce packing: grading, sorting, and processing. Includes export, wholesale, and full packing management app. Built around Fresh produce packaging & recalls: bar-code inventory, B2B Customer Portal, Shop front, FARM MANAGEMENT OPTION and more... Farmsoft provides complete management for onion packing, broccoli packing, citrus packing, pepper packing, tomato packing, avocado packing, potato packing. Salad packing, Loose leaf lettuce and other fresh produce such as spinach, rucola, chicory, watercress. Cucumber packing. Citrus Fresh produce packaging for lemon, orange, mandarin, tangerine, clementine. Asparagus packing. Onion inventory & storage. Potato inventory storage app. Potato Fresh produce packaging app for better packing & logistics. Onion Fresh produce packaging management. Tomato Fresh produce packaging for food safety. Print fresh produce blockchain QR codes. Pepper & capsicum Fresh produce packaging app reduces pepper waste. Broccoli Fresh produce packaging app for easy recalls and audits. Carrot Fresh produce packaging app for better inventory and less waste. Manage salad Fresh produce packaging during the salad mixing and packing process. Leafy greens Fresh produce packaging app full business management packing & processing of kale, microgreens, collard greens, spinach, cabbage, beet, watercress, romaine lettuce, swiss chard, arugula, rukola, endive, bok choy, turnip greens.  

Inventory Fresh produce packaging

Manage incoming Fresh produce blockchain Fresh produce packaging inventory & storage inventory, capture supplier details, Fresh produce packaging and costs (optionally capture on PO in advance), create inventory & pallet labels, record storage location of inventory.  Automatic inventory audit trail and tracking.  Unlimited inventory items. Bar-code inventory management.

Stock-take Fresh produce packaging

Perform stock-takes any time by category or storage location.  Know how much onion inventory you have in real time, even search by storage location.  Report by product line and storage location, or product category. 

FARM Management

Full farm record keeping, activity management, best practices, budgeting, time-sheets, machinery costs, inventory, cherry farm Fresh produce packaging, PHI/WHP management, and more... 

Sales, shipping,  order Fresh produce packaging

Print pick sheet to pick Tomato Fresh produce packaging inventory & storage orders manually, or scan inventory / pallets onto orders, or auto select inventory,  or rapidly sell without an order.  Track paid, and unpaid invoices.  Attach documents to invoices / photos of outgoing shipments.

Traceability & recalls

Instant mock recalls both up and down the supply chain using keys based on supplier lot/batch, supplier name, delivery date, invoice #, inventory #, pallet #, customer reference, order # and more...  Reduces fresh produce food safety compliance costs and makes audits easy.

Invoices, BOL, labels for pallets & inventory Fresh produce packaging

Choose from a gallery of invoices, bill of lading, freight notes, and industry standard fresh produce labels including Walmart, Tesco, Aldi, Coles, Pick 'n Save, Woolworths and more...

Batch packing Fresh produce packaging 

Record all batch inputs such as fruit & vegetables, packaging materials, and other raw materials.  Batch costs automatically tracked.  Batch recalls automatically track suppliers & Fresh produce packaging.

Logistics Fresh produce packaging

View open orders & balances. Assign orders to specific staff for picking, assign to trucks / driver, transport company.  Set loading order for multiple orders on one truck.  See when orders are ready shipped and print bill of lading, export documents, and invoices. 

Quality control

Perform QC tests for incoming pepper inventory, packed, pre-shipping. Configure QC tests for ANYTHING you want to test, supplier quality control tracking.  Attach unlimited photos & documents to QC tests from your cell or tablet.  

Price lists

Manage prices that will be used when a customer order is recorded.  Set up price lists for specials, specific products & customers or promotions.  


Profit:  Analyze profit of each onion line, variety, and even track individual customer profit, and batch level cost & profit.  Sales:  Monitor sales progress & shipments.  Quality:  supplier performance & more...


Auto shipment and sale alerts to customers.  Configure BOM, packing / manufacturing processes, special rules to control the processes in your business (your consultant will do this for you).   

Value adding

For food service and processors:  specify the ingredients for each product you manufacture, farmsoft will calculate required quantities to fill open orders and schedule the batch.  Automatic creation of inventory outputs.  All ingredients and inputs are costed.

Unlimited sites & warehouses

Create multiple sites, specify which sites each employee can view (this restricts inventory, orders, invoices etc to selected sites).  Great for businesses with multiple locations across the country or planet.

Global Fresh produce packaging standards

Farmsoft supports global Fresh produce packaging standards such as GS1 Global Fresh produce packaging Standard,  

Purchase orders

Order raw materials, packaging materials and more from suppliers.  Analyze orders and prices using Purchases dashboard. 

Re-order alerts

Receive alerts when inventory needs to be reordered, analyze inventory that will need ordering in the future, and inventory that is approaching expiry...

Finance apps

Integrate with Xero finance, or export invoices (AR) and Purchase Orders (AP) to your chosen finance app like MYOB, Quickbooks, , FreshBooks, Wave, SaasAnt, SAGE and others...

Reduce Fresh produce blockchain waste by 99%

Fresh produce packaging ensures there is no 'shrinkage', fresh produce inventory is FIFO managed, and expiring inventory always monitored, with automatic traceability being enforced at all times.

Reduce Fresh produce blockchain Fresh produce packaging administration time by 60%

Automatic traceability & paperwork, labels (case and pallet) and reporting reduces the burden on administration teams and saves everyone's time.

Rapid & consistent Fresh produce blockchain  quality control

Quality control and food safety has never been easier with industry standard quality tests, food safety checklists; or configure your own tests.  Enhanced post harvest Fresh produce packaging.

100% accurate orders, 100% accurate Fresh produce packaging!

Guarantee only the correct inventory is shipped for each order, on time, every time.  Simple Fresh produce packaging solution.

Easy Fresh produce blockchain Fresh produce packaging

Perform instant mock recalls and audits at any time, from anywhere. No need to compile reports or search for documents. International food safety traceability standards maintained.

Reduce Fresh produce blockchain Fresh produce packaging overheads by 40%

Automated management of traceability tasks saves operational teams time recording Fresh produce packaging information. 

Faster Fresh produce blockchain inventory & Fresh produce packaging

Know exactly which inventory is available, where it is, and when it expires:  any-time, anywhere.  Bar-code tracked inventory is fast and accurate.

100% accurate Fresh produce blockchain production

Rapidly assign customer orders to production batches, line & inventory managers receive instant alerts.  Manufacture / pack the exact quantity required for each order. 

Fresh produce on blockchain
While demand for fresh produce grows as people strive to eat healthier and look for more choice in their fruits and vegetables, the challenges around food safety and freshness persist. Across the industry’s highly complex, cross-border supply chain, challenges range from issues around the origins and quality of farm products to shrinkage and spoilage resulting from improper handling and storage.

Postharvest technologies
Postharvest technologies are important tools, materials and services that help in maintaining the quality of the fresh produce. Our technology pages show the different knowledge that is useful for companies that operate in the fresh supply chain, from farm to fork. If you need immediate consultation on one of the technologies, please contact our technology expert Frank van de Geijn.

Will blockchain be the holy grail of fresh produce traceability?
In December 2016, so the story is told, Frank Yiannas went to a local Walmart store and picked up a package of sliced mangoes. Returning to the office, Yiannas, Walmart’s vice president of food safety, challenged his team to find out where the mangoes had come from, and set a timer. Six days, 18 hours and 26 minutes later, an answer came back.

While nearly a week is an improvement over the multiple weeks some companies can take to trace a product; it is still far too long when customer safety is on the line, and a recall is urgently required. That lag time leaves a retailer with little choice but to exercise the extremely costly step of pulling all the suspect product from the shelf as a precautionary measure.

While Yiannas was initially skeptical about blockchain, Walmart decided to try it out, partnering with IBM for a trial run. As part of the test, shipments were tracked and digitally recorded via a blockchain. Pallet loads of mangoes were assigned numeric identifiers. At each stage of the supply chain, from farm to store, their status was logged.

A few months later, Yiannas performed the same task that had taken his team almost a week. An instant after keying the six-digit lot number on the web portal, the product’s history appeared on screen, tracing its journey from harvest and hot-water treatment to import, processing, cold storage, and finally its arrival at a Walmart store. The time taken was around 2 seconds. For a supply chain looking to find an optimal visibility solution, the result was compelling.

What is blockchain?
"Simply put," writes Sylvain Charlebois, professor in food distribution and policy and dean of the Faculty of Management at Dalhousie University, "blockchain technology is a way of storing and sharing information across a network of users in an open virtual space. Blockchain technology allows for users to look at all transactions simultaneously and in real time. In food, for example, a retailer would know with whom his supplier has dealt. Additionally, since transactions are not stored in any single location, the information is almost impossible to hack."

Such information allows supply chain partners to more quickly collaborate and optimize their operations. Consumers could also benefit from the instant access to visibility. By just reading a QR code with a smartphone, Charlebois notes customers could see the product’s history. In the case of a piece of meat, for example, information might include the animal’s birth and use of antibiotics as well as processing and supply chain information.

Visibility into product history details, such as country of origin and fair trade, may offer an advantage to smaller or mid-sized suppliers who have not developed a brand reputation.

Development continues
Walmart, which has already undergone blockchain tests with mangoes in North America and pork in China, recently joined IBM, Chinese retailer, and Tsinghua University National Engineering Laboratory for E-Commerce Technologies to form the Blockchain Food Safety Alliance, dedicated to improving food tracking and safety in China. In August 2017, a U.S. collaboration was announced, including IBM, Dole, Driscoll’s, Golden State Foods, Kroger, McCormick and Company, McLane Company, Nestlé, Tyson Foods, Unilever, and Walmart.

In the UK, a blockchain collaboration between Sainsbury, packaging company Sappi and three financial services companies recently formed, along with several technology startups, to track and verify contracts with tea farmers from the country of Malawi in Africa. The group is looking to connect with up to 10,000 farmers and offer preferential pricing to those who use sustainable farming methods designed to increase yields.

Next steps
While excitement around blockchain is enormous, whether or not it will become the "Holy Grail" of traceability remains to seen. Roman Kuhar of Compac advises fresh produce growers and packing houses to align themselves with partners who understand the technology and who can help you implement it. He believes that consumer demand for transparency will drive innovation and that "packhouses and growers that adopt a blockchain driven traceability will become the gold standard for innovation and food safety."

Others tread cautiously. Harry Smit of Rabobank cautions that two prerequisites are required for companies to achieve success. "First, processes within companies, and between companies, have to become digitalized and standardized," he says. "Second, a broad participation of stakeholders along the value chain is required; otherwise the value of blockchain is lost." Nonetheless, Rabobank recommends that companies participate in more than one blockchain initiative while maintaining flexibility to switch to others.

Charlebois echoes the need for participation. "The most important challenge remains participation," he writes. "All parties must adopt the technology in order for it to work. In food distribution, not all companies are equal, and some can exercise their power more than others. A successful integration of the blockchain requires the engagement of all participating organizations." He states that further research is needed "before we get too excited."

How can IBM Food Trust help?
IBM Food Trust™ understands the challenges facing the fresh produce industry. That’s why we are dedicated to building trust and transparency and empowering seamless collaboration throughout the cross-border ecosystem with blockchain.

Learn more
Providing proof of origin and accelerated tracking
The Trace module enables end-to-end supply chain visibility, cutting the time needed to track a food source from days to seconds. Know the provenance of fruits and vegetables and their status to mitigate the spread of contamination and prevent waste in the case of a food borne illness outbreak.

Building consumer demand and brand trust
The Consumer module shares the journey of fresh produce. Connect shoppers to specific, permissioned information that helps influence buying decisions, such as origin, quality and sustainability practices.

Streamlining produce handling and reducing food waste
The Insights capabilities module provides near real-time supply chain data, including information on temperature and product movement. Leveraging blockchain and IoT technology, Hyper Insights enables better handling and transportation of perishable fruits and vegetables as well as dynamically optimizing inventory management.

Enabling reliable documentation across the supply chain
The Documents module allows participants to upload, manage, edit and share any documents along the supply chain. Improve information management, demonstrate organic and sustainability growth practices and show compliance with quality standards.

Use case
Enabling a global retail giant to trace leafy greens back to the farm
In 2018, a multistate outbreak of E coli-related illnesses linked to romaine lettuce started making headlines. Walmart had recently completed a food traceability pilot on the IBM Food Trust platform in which it reduced the time required to trace a box of mangos back to farm from 7 days to 2.2 seconds.

As a result of the successful pilot, the company sent a letter to all its leafy green suppliers asking them to join the IBM Food Trust-enabled Walmart Food Traceability Initiative. The goal was to have leafy green suppliers be able to instantaneously trace every product back to its farm, by production lot, within a year.

To help suppliers get started, Walmart worked with IBM Food Trust to provide education and onboarding support. Today, the majority of the retailer’s leafy green suppliers are using blockchain technology.

Companies use blockchain to track food products from farm to fork
Author Gautam Naik
Theme Retail & Consumer Products
Major companies are increasingly using blockchain technology to improve food safety and product recalls, as well as to boost supply chain transparency so that consumers get a closer look at food's long and complex journey from farm to fork.

Walmart Inc., Carrefour SA, Koninklijke Ahold Delhaize NV and Nestlé SA are among those that have begun to use blockchain — the technology that powers the bitcoin cryptocurrency — to trace food back to its source within seconds instead of days or weeks. The speed enables companies to quickly investigate the origin of contaminated food, certify the organic provenance of their products, improve shelf life and reduce loss from spoilage. While companies have previously used other types of software to track their food supply chains, blockchain's advantage is that it can digitally store and send secure data from multiple parties in such a way that it cannot be tampered with.

"It provides the capacity to create trust in the system," said Brigid McDermott, vice president at IBM Food Trust, in an interview. "It's the missing piece of the puzzle" in the traceability of food supply chains.

SNL Image
Global food supply chains are mind-bogglingly complex. For a head of lettuce to travel from a farm to a salad bowl, it must go through a dozen or more handoffs — from farmer to processor to distributor to delivery company, which might then use a ship, plane or truck to dispatch it to a retail store, where it is purchased by the consumer. Multiply this process by 70,000 — the number of food items typically stocked by a grocery store — then add to it the cross-border nature of food distribution, and the enormity of the tracking task becomes apparent.

Blockchain is a method of recordkeeping that is open to users. When data gets entered into the chain, other computers in the network are notified. Because the change in information is open for all to see, the information is very hard to falsify. More accessibility means more accuracy, greater trust and, crucially, faster access to information. This is vital when it comes to tracking down the origin of, say, salmonella in a shipment of eggs.

Because large food companies often share producers, processors and distributors, blockchain offers another benefit: everyone can use the same system, and yet sensitive data can be kept secure. "When you have Walmart and Kroger on the same system, how do you trust that Kroger can't see Walmart's data and vice versa?" says McDermott. "With blockchain, you can do it."

In Aug. 2017, IBM Food Trust, owned by International Business Machines Corp., said it was teaming up with Unilever PLC, Nestlé, Tyson Foods Inc., Walmart, The Kroger Co. and other food giants to champion blockchain for supply chains. IBM's system stores data about harvests, food processing, packaging and shipping on a secure blockchain network. All participants, from growers, suppliers, processors and distributors to retailers, regulators and consumers, can quickly learn the origin and state of food in their transactions.

Since its launch in October 2018, more than 4,600 facilities have been connected to the network, over four million transactions have been entered onto the blockchain and nearly three million packaged food products have been traced via IBM Food Trust. One early tester was Nestlé, which used the system to track the multiple fruits, vegetables and other ingredients from different countries that end up in some of its Gerber baby food products.

"We are using blockchains in North America when we source pumpkins from farmers," said Benjamin Ware, Nestlé's global head of responsible sourcing, in an interview. "In the future, we want to pilot blockchain in trade channels such as palm oil, where there are six to seven intermediaries between a plantation and Nestlé, and six to seven more between Nestle and [a supermarket] like Tesco PLC."

Walmart also tested the technology. Using old-style tracking systems, "it took Walmart six days, 18 hours and 26 minutes to trace a package of sliced mango from its store back to a farm," said McDermott of IBM. But when the mango trace was tested on IBM's blockchain system, "we did it in two seconds."

On Sept. 28, 2018, following a large U.S. outbreak of E. coli in romaine lettuce that sparked food contamination fears, Walmart wrote to suppliers of fresh, leafy greens, requiring them to use IBM's blockchain to track their produce all the way back to the farm. "Our suppliers are expected to ... enable end-to-end traceability back to farm by September 30, 2019," the retail giant said in its letter.

French supermarket chain Carrefour says it is using IBM's blockchain on its "Quality Line Auvergne chicken," of which it sells a million each year, and is also rolling out the system for tomatoes, eggs, cheese, milk and Norwegian salmon. The company expects to extend it to all 100 Quality Line products by 2022. Separately, Carrefour Spain has a plan to certify antibiotic-free chicken with a QR code for consumers to see the data, and Spanish fish products maker Angulas Aguinaga has also joined the blockchain system, according to IBM.

Other software providers have spotted the opportunity, too. A small U.K. firm called Provenance is using blockchain to help British food retailer The Co-Op track fresh produce from origin to grocery shelf. Dairy Farmers of America Inc. — the world's largest milk processor — recently teamed up with food technology startup to test blockchain in its vast supply chain.

In September 2018, Albert Heijn, the biggest supermarket chain in the Netherlands and a unit of Ahold Delhaize, said it was using blockchain from privately held Supply Chain Information Management to make the production of its own-brand orange juice completely transparent to consumers. "Through a QR code on the packaging, they can track the entire route traveled by a bottle of orange juice, from the grove to the store shelf," Albert Heijn says in an explainer posted on its website.

The blockchain captures a wealth of data along the complicated, nine-step route that the orange juice takes. The journey starts at Brazilian plantations owned by LDC Juice that are certified to be deforestation-free, then moves to the plant where oranges are pressed for juice, turned into concentrate, and then transported to the port of Santos. From there it is on a two-week boat journey to Gent, Belgium, and then on to the Netherlands by truck. Water is added to the concentrate, as well as vitamin C to ensure that the color is maintained. The juice is pasteurized, packaged, labeled and eventually sent to an Albert Heijn supermarket. At every step of the way, a trove of information is added into the blockchain: when the oranges were picked; their level of sweetness; working conditions in the plantation; processing period; transport time; sensory smell, color and taste tests; and the control of the sweetness-acidity ratio.

"Transparency in the chain is becoming increasingly important," said Marit Van Egmond, commercial director at Albert Heijn, in a statement. "We know all the steps that our products go through to ensure that they are produced with respect for people, animals and the environment and we want to show these steps to our customers, in an open and transparent way."

BLOG 16 Aug, 2022

Insight Weekly: Examining the US climate bill; fintech earnings dip; mining equipment costs rise
Author Sarah Cottle
Theme EnergyMetalsCorporatesHealthcare & PharmaceuticalsRetail & Consumer ProductsTechnology, Media & TelecomESGFinancial ServicesBankingInfrastructure & Utilities
Segment AcademiaBankingCorporationsGovernmentsInsuranceInvestment BankingInvestment ManagementPrivate EquityProfessional Services
Tags Metals & MiningTMT

Today is Tuesday, August 16, 2022, and here’s your weekly selection of essential intelligence on financial markets and the global economy from S&P Global Market Intelligence. Subscribe to be notified of each new Insight Weekly.

In this edition, we examine the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act, a Senate bill packed with $369 billion in energy security and climate change spending. The bill includes renewable energy and energy storage tax credits that could accelerate the clean energy transition, industry executives say. The legislation puts the U.S. within reach of its 2030 emission reduction target, but the nation still would need additional policies to get there, according to analysts. Some experts say the measure also will raise the stakes for expanding the U.S. electric transmission system and expedite environmental reviews.

Most financial technology companies, payment processors and specialty finance companies that have reported second-quarter earnings saw quarter-over-quarter declines in their EPS, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence data. Headwinds from the volatility in foreign-exchange rates and the current macro environment hurt companies' revenue growth.

Supply chain disruptions are pushing up the price of machinery and raw materials, driving increases in production costs for equipment manufacturers and mining companies that are rethinking their existing equipment fleets. The equipment shortage has had varying impacts on miners' activities and forced them to make unusual sourcing choices.