Fresh produce packaging RFID app inventory fruit vegetable inventory: manages fresh produce inventory for packers of fruit, vegetable, meats, and seafood. Fresh produce RFID solution from farmsoft is inexpensive to implement and uses easily available inexpensive RFID hardware for fresh produce.

99% less fresh produce packing waste

Accurate fresh produce & food inventory management reduces waste through better FIFO stock rotation, stock-takes, and inventory alerts. RFID pallet control (optional) for precision inventory tracking. 

Save time packing fruit & vegetables

Increase the efficiency of fresh produce inventory using options like scanning incoming bar-codes to reduce data entry & errors, integrate with scales for automatic weighing, ore RFID for automatic fresh produce inventory tracking.

Better fresh produce quality control

Guarantee the quality of your fresh produce packing with flexible fresh QC testing systems from your phone or tablet. Customer feedback management, supplier quality control and more...

Reduce fresh produce packing errors & control production

Project required inventory (and shortages), schedule orders to be packed in batches , automatic alerts to prodution line managers.

100% accurate fresh produce order shipping

Shipping teams are guided through the dispatch process from picking using a phone or tablet (optional bar-code scanning), automatic picking, thru bill of lading, invoice, and automatic shipping notifications for customers, transport, and sales teams.

Reduce fresh produce packing administration costs by 40%

Automatic generation of fresh produce labels, bill of lading, invoice, picking documents and more; reduces administrative burden.

Easy audit & recall systems reduces compliance costs.

Faster fresh produce inventory storage  inventory

Accurate fresh produce & food inventory management delivers reduced waste and increased employee productivity. Manage FIFO, improve stock-take accuracy, scan harvester data, and keep a watchful eye on your inventory... Easy stock-take identifies shrinkage and helps reduce waste from ageing. 

100% accurate fresh produce Fresh produce packaging

Maintain strict fresh produce Fresh produce packaging and high food safety standards always. Perform recalls based on lot/batch, pack date, invoice #, inventory #, pallet #, delivery date, purchase order #, or perform a recall on your own user defined data. Perform instant recalls both up and down the supply chain. Makes audits easy and instant. COVID-19 food safety & auditing available. 

Reduce fresh produce waste by 99%

Fresh produce packaging ensures there is no 'shrinkage', food inventory is FIFO managed, and expiring inventory always monitored.

Reduce administration time by 60%

Automatic paperwork, labels, and reporting reduces the burden on administration teams and saves everyone's time.

Better fresh produce quality now

Quality control and food safety has never been easier with industry standard quality tests, food safety checklists; or configure your own tests. 

100% accurate orders!

Guarantee only the correct inventory is shipped for each order, on time, every time.

Fresh produce RFID packaging app fruit vegetable inventory: manages fresh produce inventory for packers of fruit, vegetable, meats, and seafood. Fresh produce RFID solution from farmsoft is inexpensive to implement and uses easily available inexpensive RFID hardware for fresh produce.

Farmsoft fresh produce Fresh produce packaging is for fruit & vegetable packer, processor, import/export.  Full fresh produce Fresh produce packaging, auditing, Fresh produce packaging, and fresh produce business management app.

Quality inspection for fresh produce

Consistent and accurate quality control ensures higher customer satisfaction and adherence to industry, de-facto, and in-house quality control standards. Track supplier quality performance, customer feedback & complaints, create QC tests for any part of the fresh produce & food manufacturing process (incoming goods, raw materials, finished goods, expiry test, export/shipping tests), daily factory hygiene, machinery calibration, employee checklists... 

Fresh produce logistics

Manage orders, pack to order, picking and auto picking, dispatch & shipping process. Generate invoices, bill of lading, pick slips, export documentation and other sales documents... Dispatch teams are guided through the dispatch process ensuring every order is filled perfectly, and on time. Paperwork such as BOL, freight documents, export documents are automatically generated based on the customer and destination to guarantee no rejected shipments or issues at borders.

Fresh produce labels

Generate fresh produce SSCC pallet labels, GS1 case & PTI labels, bin labels, batch labels, traded unit labels, harvest labels and more. Use the built in industry standard labels for Walmart, Woolworths, Aldi, Tesco, Loblaws etc - or design your own with the built in label & report designer. Our team can design all of your fresh produce documents to ensure farmsoft matches your requirements perfectly.

Fresh produce packing control

Sales, Quality, Profit, Dispatch, Pack, Farm...... Dashboards for sales teams provide instant impressions of customer orders and current inventory levels. The dispatch dashboard helps plan shipments, order of loading, and transport companies & drivers... The Profit analysis dashboard shows margins per unit and most profitable customers. Use our API to access your data however you like.

Fresh produce batch packing

Project required raw materials needed to pack/manufacture orders, potential shortages, schedule multiple orders to be packed in batches on selected production lines with a few clicks, automatically send new job alerts to managers, schedule additional harvests, analyze outstanding orders. Manage entire packing and manufacturing process with ease.

Fresh produce alerts monitoring

Automatic alerts for shipments can be sent to customers, transport providers, or even team members. Every time a batch is finished processing, receive an alert with the pack-out breakdown and percentages of grades & quality and waste. Alerts can include simple shipment notifications, or even invoices and original order details. Other alerts include order changes/modifications, yield reports, new order alerts, and low inventory alerts... 

Farm app option

Implement the farmsoft Farm Management suite to provide a comprehensive integrated business management solution from seed to plate. Includes automatic task management, best practices, budgeting, farm inventory, PHI enforcement, audits, residue reporting, USDA reporting, dashboards, recalls and more... 

Fresh produce supplier quality control

Suppliers must know that your business is measuring and tracking their performance. Any trends that effect the quality of fresh produce can be quickly detected, automatically traced back to the fresh produce supplier (especially if a result of a customer complaint / feedback), management and purchasing teams are automatically alerted when a supplier quality issue happens. Quantify your suppliers quality using the Supplier Quality Dashboard. 

Fresh produce finance apps

Share data with your Xero finance app, Quickbooks, MYOB, SAGE, using our API, or request our team perform a custom integration for your fresh produce company. This is an optional module, please ask your consultant for additional details and discuss your specific requirements, additional costs will apply for integration with your chosen finance app. 

Fresh produce RFID

Automatic tracking of each pallet’s exact location. Makes loading orders accurate and easy, stops errors during shipping. Very low costs to setup your hardware using farmsoft’s innovative RFID for fresh produce solution. Pallets put onto truck are auto added to order, and checked for accuracy. Pick up a pallet and its RFID instantly selected. Add pallet/bin to production line and its auto added to batch for Fresh produce packaging.

Fresh produce API

Integrate with virtually any other app or software solution using the farmsoft API. It's open! Anyone can use it. Your in house I.T. team, or any external I.T. vendor you want to help you with integration. Add your own reports, extract special data, or even create new interfaces between farmsoft and any app such as accounting, payroll, B2B, B2C. Other integration in farmsoft includes the ability to integrate with selected weigh scales to capture fresh produce net delivery weights.

Fresh produce bloch-chain

Increase customer confidence and prove the credentials of your Fresh produce packaging integrity and transparency with block-chain ledger technology.   We use the blockchain solution. (Optional module not included with standard Packing / Food Manufacturing ERP solution).

Improve fresh produce production planning

Efficient management customer orders, and the ability to analyze orders gives you new production planning tolls in farmsoft. Ensure each order is filled to exact specifications, on time, every time. Increase customer satisfaction and retention, and reduce stress in the packhouse with confident production planning using work orders/batch orders, sales contracts, sales orders, and sales order items. Are you manufactruing or processing chili products? Try farmsoft for chili processing. 

Accurate fresh produce Fresh produce packaging

Quality officers are guided through the quality control process, presented with images and instructions for each test, ensuring they know what to look for at all times, corrective actions are presented if a quality issue is detected. This makes training new fresh produce quality control officers fast, and ensures consistency in the quality control management processes for incoming fresh produce, post pack/post processing, storage, and dispatch. 

Efficient use of fresh produce cold stores

Maximize your cold store use and rotation of stock using farmsoft's pallet maps, and precision Fresh produce packaging tracking with expiring inventory reminders.
Cold store management software for fruit importers, exporters, packers, cross docking, and short and long term fruit storage.

Fresh produce RFID packaging app fruit vegetable inventory: manages fresh produce inventory for packers of fruit, vegetable, meats, and seafood. Fresh produce RFID solution from farmsoft is inexpensive to implement and uses easily available inexpensive RFID hardware for fresh produce.

The farmsoft Fresh produce packaging app provides business wide quality management inspection systems for fresh produce, food manufacturing, seed processing, meat packing & processing, and flower packing.

Perishable inventory management fruit vegetables
Perishable inventory management fresh produce packers and processors: manage perishable,  Implement a simple Fresh produce packaging solution, or comprehensive business wide perishable inventory solution – the choice is yours….Perishable inventory management software, Reduce perishable inventory waste with FIFO and strict inventory management & monitoring.  Perishable inventory demands attention. Specific inventory-tracking methods help with the job of managing and accounting for perishable inventory. Perishable refers to items that have an expiration date, such food that will go bad if not eaten in a certain amount of time. Single-period Fresh produce packaging and first-in-first-out, or FIFO, inventory valuation are commonly used to deal with perishable goods.
Fresh produce supply chain management app
Fresh produce supply chain management app for fresh produce packers, processor, shippers, exporter.  Fresh produce supply chain management app: demand forecasting, pricing.  Why is the Distribution Supply Chain So Complex?  Many factors are contributing to increasing complexity in these forecasts, including outbound customer demand volatility, managing multiple suppliers with long lead times (especially overseas), constrained transportation capacity, and increasing inbound supply line volatility.    The availability of fresh foods is a key driver of in-store traffic in supermarkets and convenience stores. The most important attributes shoppers say when selecting their primary stores include high quality fruits and vegetables — 80%, high quality meat — 77%, and fresh food deli — 53%.
Fresh produce Consumer feedback
Consumer feedback for your fresh produce or manufactured food. Get fast and accurate consumer feedback directly from the end consumer with farmsoft's Consumer Feedback module.

  Around 10 million tonnes of food waste is generated post-farm gate every year in the UK and around 70% of this comes from households.

Fresh fruit and vegetables account for a third of all household food thrown away that could have been eaten (1.6 million tonnes; £3.8 billion).  Almost half of the fresh fruit and vegetables are discarded due to not being eaten in time. WRAP works with Governments, food businesses and a wide range of other partners to help to reduce this waste by enabling citizens to buy what they need and use what they buy. 

Fresh produce portal for customer orders & better service
Fresh produce portal for customer orders & better service: Give your customers access to farmsoft Fresh Produce Customer Portal so they can enter their fresh produce orders 24x7.  Connect to your customers orders faster to improve fresh produce production planning and batch scheduling.  A client portal is an electronic gateway to a collection of digital files, services, and information, accessible over the Internet through a web browser.  The term is most often applied to a sharing mechanism between an organization and its clients. The organization provides a secure entry point, typically via a website, that lets its clients log into an area where they can view, download, and upload private information.
Fresh produce inventory profit Analysis

Fresh produce Profit Analysis Dashboard: Understand which fresh produce lines really make profit for your business by analyzing delivery costs, packing, packaging, overheads, and sale prices.  Gain a deeper insight into the profitability of individual product lines in your fresh produce business... Use farmsoft to calculate all costs, from the entire farming process (requires you to use farmsoft Farm Management), direct raw material purchase costs, freight to individual customers, fixed overheads, packaging material, labor and more.

Why continue packing and selling a product line if its unprofitable?
With farmsoft's Profit Analysis Dashboard for fresh produce, you can quickly determine each product lines profitability.
The Profit Analysis Dashboard also takes into account transport costs that your fresh produce business pays; this gives you an easy to interpret insight into the true profitability of each fresh produce line by customer.  
Dashboards for fresh produce business intelligence. Make better management and sales decisions using business intelligence distilled from across the business in farmsoft dashboards.  Make better management and sales decisions using business intelligence distilled from across the business in farmsoft dashboards.   Business intelligence > Sales dashboard
This dashboard is an essential tool for marketing and sales teams to stay constantly informed of all orders, inventory on hand, and stock that isn't assigned to a customer. Production managers can use this dashboard to plan packing activities.

The dashboard summarizes fresh produce orders, and allows you to drill down to see individual orders. Total product on order, customer breakdown of each order, total inventory on hand to fill existing orders, balance of inventory that must be packed to fill current open orders, total inventory that is on hand but not on order. Analyze orders that were not filled to gauge customer satisfaction.

Production planning - fresh produce fruit & vegetable packing and processing
Fresh produce production planning for fruit, vegetables, coleslaw, leafy mixed products and more... Make better planning decisions, reduce waste, deliver exacting orders.  Fill each order with 100% accuracy, zero fresh produce waste, efficient packing, and value adding processes to maintain Fresh produce packaging and maximize efficiency.  Choose from a range of fresh produce production planning tools designed to make your operation run at maximum efficiency with least effort.  Easily compare required, available, and any shortage of fresh produce inventory during production planning. Plan daily packing, weekly, packing, or even months in advance for planting, ordering, harvesting. Guarantee all fresh produce products are available in the correct quantity at the correct time. Use the farmsoft fresh produce customer portal to access fresh produce orders faster and plan production better.
Multi Site Packing of fresh produce
Multi site packing of fresh produce from farmsoft allows you to manage unlimited pack-houses in unlimited locations. Process hundreds of lines at once, maintain Fresh produce packaging, consistent quality across all operations. Centralized management of orders controls each pack-houses duties and fresh produce dispatch.  Manage multiple sites and packhouses using the one platform, for no additional cost. Farmsoft is a multiple site, multi-packhouse/factory solution. This allows an unlimited number of facilities/packhouses (multiple site management) to operate farmsoft for their Packhouse, in an almost “independent” manner. Each site has Employee Site Permissions and independent inventory management. Download farmsoft multi site Fresh produce packaging specifications here.  Farmsoft’s multi site Fresh produce packaging allows easy centralized management of fresh produce packing and processing. You can even perform value added processing of fresh produce using farmsoft. Farmsoft delivers a comprehensive solution that manages all inventory, quality control, Fresh produce packaging, paperwork, processing sorting grading washing and food manufacturing, sales, marketing, dispatch and invoicing.
Fresh produce import packing data fruit vegetables
Import pack data from fruit & vegetable grading machines from Compac InVision, fruit & vegetable sorters, and extractors during the packing process. Increase the accuracy of your inventory management.
ENHANCED Fresh produce packaging
Import data Compac InVision pack lines to increase Fresh produce packaging, and reduce the possibility of human error that can compromise Fresh produce packaging. Import pack-out data from your grading line rapidly.
Reduce the cost of double entry by importing Compac InVision 9000 pack line data, and easily capturing pack-out data without errors. Custom pack line data import options available to suit all packing machines.
Import packing machine data from fruit & vegetable packing lines
Fresh produce import packing data fruit vegetables
Fully integrated with the farmsoft post harvest management solution...  Import packing machine data from Compac InVision 9000CIR & other fruit & vegetable packing, sorting, and grading equipment.
RFID Fresh produce inventory pallet control
RFID Fresh produce inventory pallet control for Wholesale and packing fruit and vegetable, management software solution to improve packing efficiency, reduce waste in the fresh produce storage process, and increase fresh produce processing and sales, and dispatch efficiency.  Zero waste
Stock rotation and expiry can be eliminated through automatic alerts, automatic FIFO enforcement, staff are guided to the exact location of fresh produce that must be processed or sold first.

Zero effort
Simply pick up a pallet/bin/bag and move it. RFID by farmsoft automatically tracks fresh produce inventory movement, updates its location, and flashes an alert on your tablet. Select an order, load pallets onto truck..… RFID by farmsoft automatically adds the pallets to the
order / invoice. Tip a bin into a batch or add pallet to a batch, its auto added to the batch. If you have your own trucks, you can RFID tag them; when you load an order farmsoft RFID will know which truck you have loaded.

Zero errors
Ever put the wrong pallet onto a truck, only to discover the error and must unload? Ever sent the wrong pallet across the country only to have to pay for it to be returned? Never again! RFID by farmsoft will alert you the second you pick up a pallet that doesn’t match current order. Make fresh produce load outs faster, and 100% accurate.
Fresh Produce Temperature Control & Ripening
Fresh Produce Temperature Control and ripening enforcement by storing and handling fresh produce at the correct temperature in inventory, arrival, dispatch, packing, processing, sorting, quality control, and dispatch processes.  

Ensuring correct Fresh Produce Temperature Control handling and storage of fresh produce is an important factor in packing the highest quality produce, and ensuring the quality of produce is maintained according to the required quality control and management specifications. As part of the temperature control process, FarmSoft also provides multiple Quality Control features that allows the configuration and testing of quality control for any type of fresh produce, packed, raw, shipping containers, and daily hygiene packhouse tests.Fresh Produce Temperature Control features:  Specify the minimum and maximum temperature of each cool room, warehouse, storage location, chilling equipment, hydro-cooler:  Reference: coffee processing inventory Fresh produce packaging Less fresh produce waste more Fresh produce packaging Accurate inventory shipping, Hydropoinc farming Less fresh produce waste more Fresh produce packaging Accurate inventory shipping, Mushroom farming technology Less fresh produce waste more Fresh produce packaging Accurate inventory shipping, Cherry packing and cherry farming Less fresh produce waste more Fresh produce packaging Accurate inventory shipping.
Fresh produce point of sale POS for farms and packhouses that sell fruit, vegetable, and other fresh produce. Sell from a smartphone or tablet, issue invoices on the spot, keep accurate inventory in each truck, deliver accurate fresh produce orders.  FarmSoft allows sales of fresh produce using a mobile device, this allows “off the truck” sales to customers at the customers on-site. All information recorded is instantly inserted into your FarmSoft database. The “truck” becomes an independent inventory storage location, meaning full Fresh produce packaging and Fresh produce packaging continues with accountability for every truck entering or leaving the packshed/factory property. Issue invoices on the spot, take down new orders directly into the fresh produce point of sale solution, and check in / check out inventory to each truck using the fresh produce point of sale system from FarmSoft. Talk to a consultant today to discuss your specific fresh produce point of sale requirements, we will tailor a solution to match your requirements. Download full fresh produce point of sale specifications now.  Make fresh produce order packing, order building, and delivery more efficient. Reduce paperwork. Increase quality and consistency, and reduce waste in the fresh packing process.

Fresh Produce Stock Control
Fresh produce stock control: Your opportunity for maximum Fresh produce packaging and efficiency starts when fresh produce is delivered. Apply fresh produce labeling and use bar code Fresh produce packaging.  FarmSoft provides extensive fresh produce stock control of incoming fresh produce & fruit/vegetables from the very moment it is delivered to the pack shed. Comprehensive Fresh Produce Stock Control is delivered via labeling, movement tracking, temperature control, quality control, documentation, and registration of incoming produce – all of which is essential in creating a strong Fresh produce packaging audit trail. FarmSoft provides comprehensive Fresh Produce Stock Control for fruit, vegetable, hop, grain, flower, and other fresh produce. Easily allocate Fresh produce packaging information for all inventory, allowing rapid recalls and Fresh produce packaging processes to meet the highest international food safety standards. Simple stock-take processes ensure continual accuracy of stock-take information across the entire farm. This minimizes shrinkage and waste, and ensures high levels of inventory accountability.
Fresh produce price list management
Fresh produce price list management, manage customer price list.  

Manage price lists for fruit and vegetable varieties. Simple, easy to implement. Prices insert by default onto orders and invoices.
Manage prices separately for each customer and fruit and vegetable type. Automatic entry of prices during sales order and invoicing processes.
Easily manage prices by trade unit, fruit/vegetable variety, feature (such as color, size, pack, grade etc...) and by customer.    Introduction video - Manage customer price lists for fresh produce fruit and vegetable export, import, wholesale and packing/processing.
Fresh produce dispatch software for fruit & vegetable wholesale, import / exporters
Fresh produce dispatch software for fruit & vegetable wholesale, import / exporters...

Sell fresh produce from your phone or tablet by simply scanning pallets and inventory onto an invoice, or alternatively select from a list of available inventory, or use your Mac/PC to select what will be sold to each customer.
Sell fresh produce based on customer orders (sales orders). Each time you scan or select inventory/pallets to add to an order, the balance of that order item is reduced to allow easy and accurate dispatch based on customer orders.
Automatic and manual invoices can be created during the fresh produce dispatch process. Team members with the correct permisions can set prices for inventory (or automatically inherit fresh produce prices from customer price lists).
Administration teams can use the Dispatch Monitor screen to see when orders are ready for dispatch.
When an order is ready for dispatch farmsoft will present customer specific documents (invoice, dispatch note, transport docked, BOL) for print / email.
Export dispatch and invoice data to your financial package to manage accounts receivable and avoid double entry of invoice items.  
Integrate with scales & weighing equipment fresh produce
Integration specially designed for fresh produce companies that pack, ship, import/export, and wholesale.  Integrate with scales & weighing equipment fresh produce
Integrate with scales from your chosen vendor of weighing equipment. Weigh entire trucks, trailers, or pallets. Using farmsoft, the tare of truck, trailer, containers, and pallets can be deducted from the gross delivery weight.

Integrate with scales & weighing equipment for fresh produce
Fresh produce inventory - Orders - Quality - Packing - Sales - Shipping - Recall - Audit - Food safety - optional Xero integration
Integrate with scales & weighing equipment fresh produce
Integrate with scales & weighing equipment fresh produce
Integrate with scales & weighing equipment fresh produce
Integrate with scales & weighing equipment fresh produce
Less waste
Increased accuracy of deliveries, faster weighing of fresh produce, no paperwork!
Scales integration for fresh produce packer & wholesaler
Improve your delivery processes by allowing farmsoft to automatically grab the weight of a delivery and deduct tare and container and packaging weights to get the true and accurate net weight. Print labels and store your fresh produce rapidly.
Sage integration fresh produce
Sage integration for packers, wholesalers, & export/importer of fresh produce.  Sage integration allows farmsoft to automatically insert invoices (accounts payable) into your Sage accounting solution. Invoices are generated in farmsoft when dispatch teams add pallets to an order (or invoice) or make a sale.  Software and CRM solutions are not always top of mind for growers and retailers of fresh produce, but making sure that the right systems are in place can lead to year-on-year revenue increases of as much as 35% in key areas, which is particularly significant for mid-market companies, according to Sage Business Solutions’ Strategic Sales Manager Gareth Moore. “Identifying key product requirements for customers, quoting rapidly and providing accurate lead times are all factors which contribute to revenue growth,” he says.  At this year’s show, Sage will be discussing its line of products including apples, pears and cherries and notably will be able to share that its apple volume will be up this year. “The state of Washington will be up as well,” says Sinks. “We’ve grown our volume through increased tonnage within our own orchards and then it’s just going to be a record crop to boot. It was good growing conditions—some of the apples like the Royal Galas will be running smaller while other varieties will be running closer to the norm.”

Xero fresh produce software for packers, wholesalers, & export/importer of fresh produce.  Xero fresh produce fruit & vegetable packing, import, export, and processor business management.
Xero fresh produce software
Xero fresh produce software
Xero integration allows farmsoft to automatically convert PO's from farmsoft into Xero Invoices for AP (accounts payable); essentially this is converting deliveries of fresh produce into AP records for management by Xero. Xero > farmsoft integration is an optoinal additional item when purchasing farmsoft, please request pricing details. Addtional integration with Xero can be added on request.

Xero integration for fresh produce packers and shippers, full inventory and Fresh produce packaging management with Xero's powerful accounting.
Using farmsoft and Xero, you can take advantage of all the special fresh produce functionality such as Fresh produce packaging, recall & audit, quality control, shipment planning, fresh produce label printing (with built in industry standards for Walmart, Woolworths, Loblaw, Tesco and more..), inventory management while keeping your accounts accurate using Xero accounting solutions.
Xero & farmsoft will manage your sales orders (customer purchase orders) and you can even manage price lists in farmsoft by setting prices for any part and its associated produce & variety, and features, and even individual pricelists for different suppliers and customers. When orders are created in farmsoft, the price list is used to default current prices.    
Fresh produce API integration

Fresh produce API integration Integrate or extract raw data from your farmsoft system using the farmsoft API. Fresh produce API integration.  Use the farmsoft API to connect your financial solution, payroll, integrate with temperature & moisture sensors, create your own interfaces, link with your transport company, scales and weighing equipment, RFID, and video & camera systems.  
Using the farmsoft API you can connect all parts of your fresh produce enterprise in a seamless centralized manner. Perform the integration using your own I.T. department, outsource to your preferred vendor, or simply ask our development team to do it for you.

GET STARTED - Go to Settings > Technical > and select "API configuration" from the more options drop down (top right).

CREATE YOUR API KEY - Select Create API key, and copy your key. Note this is a secret key for your company only.
TEST YOUR API CONNECTION - Select Test API, if you don't get any data back, that is because you have no Task/s in your database.
START USING YOUR API CONNECTION - use your chosen API enabled interface to make calls to [please refer to this document]
Fresh produce inventory reports
Design your own fresh produce reports, labels, invoice, bill of lading - or copy existing templates and edit them as you like.  GET STARTED -Go to Settings > My Reports (you need Administrator privileges on Employee screen to access My Reports screen)

CREATE YOUR NEW REPORT/LABEL/DOCUMENT -Select "Copy" to copy an existing report, or the (+) icon for a blank report

NAME YOUR REPORT - Give your report a name, this will appear when users need to print it. Select a Category (eg: Invoice, delivery, inventory label etc) and the width and height of the report in CM, barcode width can be from 1 - 10. If you enable "Requires finance admin" then users without Finance Admin permissions will not be able to see or print this report.

DESIGN A SIMPLE REPORT - If your report is simple you can create it in the on screen text box. Select a field to insert which will place a tag into the text box. These tags are obviously replaced with the corresponding data when the report runs. Select "Preview" to view the report using your own data (you are expected to enter an ID (eg: an Inventory number or Invoice number), try 1 if you don't have much data - if you have NO data then you cant preview using your own data).

Labels and documents for fresh produce
Labeling fresh produce. Fresh produce documentation. Industry standards for labels and fresh produce documentation for domestic and export, maximum Fresh produce packaging and inventory accuracy.   Fresh produce label printing & design. Build your own, choose from templates, or ask your consultant to design your fresh produce labels and documents.

Print Produce Fresh produce packaging Initiative / PTI style labels for fresh produce pallets (PTI Hybrid Pallet Label with GTIN and SSCC via GS1 128 barcodes) and other fresh produce labeling formats from around the world.
Generate standard FarmSoft fresh produce pallet labels with SSCC and human readable details.
Generate standard FarmSoft inventory labels for identifying fresh produce that will be processed further before sale.
Includes labels accepted by Walmart, Tesco’s, Coles, Woolworths, Aldi, Pick’n’Save, and many more chains.
Use virtually any printer type or model, including mobile label printers or inexpensive thermal or laser printing options to generate fresh produce labeling.   Label fresh produce traded units (trade units), and even consumer units such as punnet, tray, tote, bags, cartons, and crates. All bar-codes can be scanned using the app to move/sell/manipulate inventory.
Use built in industry standard fresh produce labels for Walmart, Tesco, Aldi, Woolworths, Loblaw, Pick'n'Save, Coles and more.
Full support for fresh produce inventory bar-codes such as GS1-128 (versions with Batch and Pack date options), T9, SSCC18 shipping bar-codes, and more...
Inventory management for fresh produce reduces waste
Accurate fresh produce inventory management delivers increased fresh produce quality. Manage FIFO, aging inventory, improve stock-take accuracy, scan harvester data, and always know exact balances of inventory.  Next generation fresh produce inventory management with optional RFID pallet control
Barcode labels and inventory & pallet management, stock take (mobile & PC), cold store, 3D storage, shipping container management...

Manage the sales process by scanning pallets onto orders/invoice, or simply select inventory from a list if you dont use the barcode scanning Android app.
Reduce fresh inventory waste with FIFO and bar-code inventory management & waste alerts & reporting.
Generate accurate labels, automatic paperwork, quickly, and accurately. Reporting and KPI for fresh inventory and perishable goods.
Manage all fresh produce inventory, packaging materials, and raw materials. Full stock-take, inventory auditing, inventory reporting, ageing inventory analysis and more...  Inventory movement, creation date, date of loading, date of entry into a batch, inventory quality tests and more is being captured in the background, providing an inventory audit trail of which inventory was stored where at what times, and moved by whom; providing an unparalleled background Fresh produce packaging and inventory auditing management for all fresh produce inventory...
Traceability & recalls for fresh produce

Traceability & recalls for fresh produce. Guarantee easy fresh produce recalls and audits with state of the art Fresh produce packaging from farmsoft.  Recall instantly using any recall key
such as: inventory #, order #, pallet #, invoice #, supplier name, Crop / Crop Batch name, supplier Fresh produce packaging data, delivery date and more…

Best practice standards for packing
and processing fresh produce such as BRC, GlobalGAP, ISO, HACCP (and many more) are supported by the system, making audits less expensive, and compliance easier and less expensive
Recall both up and down the supply chain
for as many steps as recorded data allows. FarmSoft allows multiple levels of Fresh produce packaging, not just one up one down
Traceability can start at the point of purchase order
creation for inventory, or can start at the point delivery of produce from a supplier (if there is no PO), or all the way back on the farm – before planting has taken place (if you are using FarmSoft Farm Management), providing the packhouse with a choice of which Fresh produce packaging model to implement, and greatly reducing paperwork and data entry
Capture and archive
(for rapid recall) all Fresh produce packaging records related to use of materials, employees, equipment – suitable for use with multiple standards.
You can perform a recall or mock recall using Fresh produce packaging data that is of unlimited age. The speed, accuracy, and detail of farmsoft recalls always impress auditors.

Sales & wholesale of fresh produce, fruit & vegetables. Orders, invoice, picking, and shipping of fresh produce. Every order filled accurately, easily, and on time.  Sales & wholesale: Invoice, order, shipping containers, dispatch, and documentation for fruit & vegetable packer / import / export

Choose from a selection of built in invoice templates, or modify to suit your needs. Invoices can be exported to avoid double entry.
Manage fresh produce orders from customers, orders are used during the order picking process to ensure accurate order fulfillment.
Manage shipping containers, digital and analog thermometers, and customize other shipping container information as required. Assign shipping containers to order and invoices in advance.
Use built in industry standard Bill Of Lading, Invoice, and other dispatch documentation, modify them, or design your own with the Document Designer tool.
Check each pallet from a list (or scan), to ensure exact order fulfillment.
Manage multiple price lists by customer x part x variety and feature. Automatic prices on new orders.  
Fresh produce wholesale import / export
From customer orders, to customer price lists, generating invoices, documentation for export, organic certificates, shipping processes, and shipping container management - farmsoft has you covered for fresh produce packing, processing, wholesale, import and export.
sales wholesale fresh produce fruitbill of lading BOL fresh produce wholesale sales
Sales system fresh produce
Bill of lading for fresh produce
Fresh produce documentation such as pick lists, bill of lading, dispatch dockets, and transport notes have never been easier and are automatically presented when orders are ready to ship. You can specify which documents are preferred by which customer to ensure each customer receives the correct documentation.
When each order is shipped, automatically email the bill of lading to your choice of customer, transport provider, or internal team members.

RFID Fresh Produce Packaging App
Radio frequency identification (RFID) is a term used for any device that can be sensed at a distance by radio frequencies with few problems of obstruction. The origins of the term lie in the invention of tags that reflect or retransmit a radiofrequency signal. According to a recent article by Forrester Research, the minimal ‘Slap and Ship’ approach to RFID compliance will cost an individual company between $2 million and $20 million. Because retailers like Wal-Mart plan to share with their suppliers all the RFID-generated data points (from when a case/pallet enters their distribution centre until it leaves their stockroom), suppliers will eventually be able to use this data as a powerful forecasting tool. RFID is an enabling technology that can potentially facilitate a real-time, end-to-end supply chain visibility system. Suppliers who integrate full-scale RFID systems will realize efficiencies in time, material movement, inventory planning, shipping and warehousing both internally and externally. This paper provides a brief overview of the RFID technology, mandates by retailers and federal agencies, advances towards global standardization and typical consumer level RFID applications, and discusses RFID initiatives taken by some of the global leaders in apparel, consumer goods and fresh produce industries. 

Achieving traceability with RFID
When we talk here about food, we are referring to the industries that carry out procedures for processing, packaging and storing food products.

Due to its own food safety regulations, this type of industry needs to add a series of data to each manufactured product to obtain traceability. Thus, key data such as:

Best-before dates
Packaging or production batches
Variable weights, gross and net weights
Recording of conditions such as temperature, humidity or others

Processes where RFID adds value
There is no doubt that the emergence of RFID technology applied to the food sector has streamlined and optimised all processes in the chain from start to finish and provides real-time data that ensures food safety and compliance with traceability regulations. Some of the processes where RFID adds value are:

Identifying codes, dates and supplier batches upon reception
Capturing data during processing
Labelling according to traceability regulations
Obtain full visibility of the productivity
Avoid obsolete or out-of-date stock with proper inventory alert management
Guarantee shipments to your customers
Integrate real-time movements and data with your IT system, ERP, MES, WMS or other systems
Raw material reception
By using RFID technology for the reception of goods, you will manage to reduce manpower by not needing to ‘disassemble’ the pallets. You will also obtain the highest reliability in data capture by entering the information into your management system or ERP.

Warehouse management
Whether it is raw material, semi-finished product or finished product, warehouse management using RFID enables you to leave and pick up goods without human interaction. Use alerts to keep track of your KPIs.

RFID online in processes
With the use of RFID tags and strategically positioned antennas, we will automatically add the information generated in each process and we will obtain the data in real time with the alerts and deviation parameters.

EAN-GS1-128 labelling
Drag and drop data to the outputs of each pallet creation line, associating the inputs, sizes, varieties and related data to the pallets created. Time control per line.

Forward and backward traceability
With the Dipole Data Suite you will be able to obtain the forward and backward traceability of prepared products. Tracing batches, dates, varieties, weights, sizes and related data to the product.

Dipole works with international standards such as GS1, allowing its products to be exported to the EU and the USA in compliance with European and FDA regulations.

Guarantee shipments
The importance of efficient delivery ensures customer loyalty. Check truckloads, orders, batches and dates 

"RFID labeling is rapidly gaining traction in the food industry"
Strict specifications and legal guidelines; total precision and exacty hygiene are important in the food industry. Inotec LLC, headquartered in Neumünster, Germany, can look back on more than 40 years of expertise on this. Label materials and adhesives from their own production are ISEGA-certified, making them suitable for direct and indirect contact with food. This is the only way to meet the requirements of today's food trade with absolute reliability. We spoke to Technical Sales Director Stefan Meyer (pictured below) about the latest solutions for labeling reusable containers.

Clean, hygienic, sensible - these are the three key words that are inevitably part of everyday practice at inotec.

In its early days, after its founding in 1978, inotec mainly specialized in the medical and pharmaceutical sectors. Later, it gradually expanded its portfolio to include other areas such as logistics and the labeling of reusable containers for fruits and vegetables. "Hygiene is the top priority in the food industry. The packaging process is almost identical for fresh foods such as fruits and vegetables, meat or fish. In addition to product hygiene, traceability of the entire supply chain is a recurring issue. Accordingly, the need for innovative labeling technology has increased, especially in times of Corona," Meyer explains.

Thanks to barcodes or RFID, customers of online delivery services can track the status of their order in real time or via Track & Trace.

Barcode and RFID labels
Basically, there are two different methods for labeling fruit and vegetable batches, namely barcode labels (such as Diobond, Diocard, Diotac, etc.) and RFID technology (InoTag). "The commercially available barcode system is still the most in demand and best suited for numerous purposes. Meanwhile, however, RFID technology is also rapidly gaining ground. Proportionally, RFID products can store more information than a barcode. Whereas a barcode simply designates the type of product, an RFID tag can display much more precise data." Another advantage of rewritable RFID tags is that they can be read without contact.

Relatively new to the portfolio is the InoSpector for monitoring temperature-sensitive products. Unlike other similar solutions, this label with sensor technology has its own active energy source. "Many online services - such as Picnic and Hello Fresh - have a need for a sophisticated temperature detection system to ensure an uninterrupted cold chain. With the InoSpector, we enable users to read the data via smartphone," Meyer outlines.

RFID inmold solutions from inotec

Further development potential for reusable systems
Even in the past year, which was dominated by Corona, inotec LLC was able to record great growth rates. Two companies were acquired, namely identytag (a manufacturer of RFID labels) and Winckel, a consultant for RFID solutions. In the longer term, there is obviously further development potential within the food industry from the supplier's point of view.

"In the to-go sector, a fast-growing market segment, there will be a reusable obligation in the future. Up to now, these items have often been packaged in plastic, but there are already initial approaches to a customized, innovative reusable system. So, durable reusable systems and corresponding identification technology will continue to be a major topic in the industry in the near future," Meyer concludes.

Using RFID to Manage Reusable Transport Items: Case Studies from Automotive and Fresh Produce
Eliminate container and pallet loss. Examples from the field illustrate how RFID enables reusable packaging owners to reduce their need for emergency expendable packaging procurement while allowing them to minimize their pool size

bins landscape
For all of the benefits of reusable packaging, a lack of availability can be, quite literally, a show stopper. “When we don’t have enough, we either stop or slow down production,” stated Tom O’Boyle, Director of RFID for Barcoding, Incorporated. “Customers don’t like to hear we are delayed because we don’t have enough totes.” O’Boyle outlined the advantages of RFID for reusable transport item management at MODEX 2016.

When reusables are not available, manufacturers may be forced to switch to a corrugated cardboard tote or gaylord. “And unfortunately,” O’Boyle added, “unless you can prove otherwise, the expense of those expendable packaging units have a tendency to be pushed to the supplier.”

Other tactics, such as the expediting return of empty reusables to maintain supply, keeping a large on-hand buffer of empties to avoid a shortage, purchasing extra reusable containers to fill shortfalls, and frequent cycle counts of reusable asset inventory, can also translate into inefficiencies, burdening the packaging program with additional cost.

“But what if you knew how many you really had,” O’Boyle asked? “What if you could validate the receipt for the shipment of these units as they’re going in and out. And what if you could know that the unit actually passed inspection and is available to be used internally?” With access to accurate information, RTI owners have the capability to eliminate inefficiencies.

A key element is to find the right tool for the job, O’Boyle noted. Given the line of sight requirement for barcode, passive RFID was the application of choice for the two case studies outlined. For reusable containers, getting a barcode read can be challenging when collapsed and nested with the barcodes inward. The type of container and the application will inform the selection process for tag selection, ranging from label-type tags to encapsulated or hard tags.

RFID reader direction
Readers configured to determine the direction of travel into or out of a zone.
The industry, O’Boyle noted, has matured to the extent that solution providers are not typically dealing with specialized tags or readers. “These are commodity products that we have the ability to get.,” he said. “So I can acquire readers from Company A and reader from Company B.. And they’re going to read the tags from Company C., which is using a worldwide standard.”

Batteries are no longer a requirement. Chip memory will last up to 50 years for passive tags. “One other thing that we see in the industry is that tag prices continue to go down, and our read range continues to go up,” O’Boyle added. He emphasized that in some cases, an active tag makes sense, depending upon the application.

Automotive Case Study: RFID Helps Supplier Avoid $425,000 in Expendable Packaging and Reduce Pool by 40 Percent

The automotive supplier had a pool of about 250,000 totes, which it supplemented with expendable packaging when it did not have reusables available. It spent an average of $450,000 annually for the single-use containers. While the customer would reimburse the cost of expendable packaging if the supplier could prove that the shortage of reusables was the fault of the customer, this in practice was tough to do. The supplier did not have confidence in its data. Due to the labor-intensive requirement of counting returned empty packaging, estimates were made (“I think there are 200 on that pallet.” ) To complicate the issue, many totes looked similar or the same from the outside, but with different dunnage.

As a result, daily cycle counts were required, meaning that someone had to physically move and handled packaging units to count them. Additionally, totes were staged ahead of time to eliminate concern about running short, a practice that caused other inefficiencies.

After the decision to implement RFID, totes went through a tagging process as they returned to the supplier, an implementation that took around three months. Read points were set at the dock doors. “They had very controlled doors,” O’Boyle said. “We knew which doors were in which stores were out which stores were used for individual plants. It was relatively simple.”

After installation, the supplier was able to log the event of every shipment and receipt, including when returning empties were moving in and out of quality assurance. If reusable totes were needed, and it could identify if the required quantities were already in the building, but had not yet cleared quality assurance, the process could be expedited.

For the first time, when reusable container shortages resulted, the supplier had the data to share with the customer to show that there had been a failure to return them, to justify being reimbursed for expendable packaging expenditure. The customer temporarily improved its return rate after receiving the feedback but has subsequently regressed. From the supplier’s perspective, however, it is now being reimbursed for much of the expendable packaging required to cover reusable packaging shortfalls.

The results have been impressive. Over four years into the program, expendable packaging expenditure by the supplier has been reduced by $ 425,000 annually, and it has been able to reduce its pool size from 250,000 reusable totes to less than 150,000. In the process, the supplier has reduced its container storage area, and with confidence in the data, it has completely eliminated its cycle count process.

Fresh Fruit Processor Case Study: RFID Delivers Accurate Data, Identifies Dormant Assets, and Allows Efficient Physical Count

A fresh fruit processor spent $7 million to purchase reusable plastic bins (intermediate bulk containers) to replace an aging inventory of wooden bins. The processor utilized eight 3rd party facilities for bin storage.

Physical counts were daunting to take. The facilities had “huge stacks” of bins that were up to 40 feet in height and nested, with as many as eight or ten rows deep. At the end of each season, the processor would send a counting team of four people to each location to perform an accurate bin inventory, an activity that might take as much as three weeks to perform, and which was recorded on an Excel spreadsheet. Also, there wasn’t a process for managing damaged bins identified during the count.

As part of the solution, the bins were tagged, and readers were installed at the scales, at the gates, and at the driveways to log movements. The processor has a bin cleaning process, and those events were also recorded. “Instantaneously, they knew where 63,000 units were,” O’Boyle stated. Inventory information was available online, for each location. Using RFID handhelds, a physical inventory could be taken in one day by a site employee, versus requiring several weeks by a group of processor employees. The new process eliminated excess labor and travel requirements.

One surprise, accurate data revealed that 20 percent of the bin inventory did not move during the entire growing season. “It stayed in the same place, but was in the wrong place,” O’Boyle said. This visibility allowed the processor to disperse the available bins accordingly. An additional benefit was the accurate tracking of damaged bins. Many of them were still under warranty and could be returned for repair or replacement, thus avoiding expenditure on new bins. A key benefit came in having visibility of bins in transport, thus helping to better predict bin availability and reduce concerns about potential shortfalls in supply.

“You can control your system,” O’Boyle emphasized in conclusion. “Don’t let your system control you. Put a little effort into it and I think you’ll be able to find that you’ll be able to reduce your pool. You’ll be able to reduce the costs associated with managing them. And if you use expendable packaging you will be able to lower your expense.”

Pros and Cons of RFID on Fresh Produce Packaging
Implementation of radio frequency identification technology isn’t as simple as just slapping an RFID tag on a shipping case or pallet. Several variables come into play. First you should make a list.

For example, how much data do you want to include in the tag? Do you want active (battery-operated) or passive (unpowered) tags? Do you want basic electronic product codes (EPCs) that facilitate inventory tracking? Or do you also want higher-cost, sensor-embedded technology that monitors temperature and humidity and signals tampering when a case or pallet is breached by an unauthorized person?

What is the density of your product? How much metal or water is contained in the product or package? These factors can affect tag readability. Finally, how much are you willing/able to pay for this technology, and how much time and staff are you prepared to dedicate to its implementation?

Counting the cost

“RFID will fundamentally change supply chain management and the way industry tracks, traces and manages the products that are delivered to retailers and consumers,” says Sujeet Chand, chief technology officer of Rockwell Automation (, Milwaukee. But it won’t come easily or cheaply … at least not yet.

According to some estimates, it can cost conservatively in the $75,000 range to set up an RFID tagging system for one low-capacity casing line that meets minimal RFID mandates. Then you have to add in the cost of the tags themselves — approximately 40-50 cents per passive tag, depending on volume purchased and the amount of information embedded in the tags. For active tags integrated with truck-transport GPS, the cost might run around $10 per tag.

Obviously, RFID can be an expensive proposition. But on the upside, you can give your products an added market-access advantage, decrease the opportunity for theft, enhance product inventory tracking, and quickly retrieve problem products or block their distribution, avoiding recalls.

“The general cost of the technology will not be any different for the food industry, but the issues of unfriendly items [containing metal or water] could prove more costly,” says Steve Dean, director of business development at Franwell Inc. (, a Plant City, Fla., engineering firm specializing in software for manufacturing, shipping, distribution and logistics. The company has formed an R&D alliance with the Center for Food Distribution & Retailing to study RFID. “Part of our work with CFDR is to help solve this cost issue for current and future food industry users.”

The University of Florida (Gainesville) is home to the Center for Food Distribution and Retailing, an academic-industry collaboration that has 25 faculty members working on all aspects of food distribution from fields to store shelves. RFID is the hot research topic now, with the center focusing on requirements for the use and reading of RFID tags in the food supply chain.

The primary R&D objective is to explore and evaluate the software and hardware designs needed by the food industry to achieve optimum implementation and effectiveness of RFID systems.

Especially for perishable food products, “RFID tags can enhance temperature management and quality control, optimizing food distribution and food safety conditions and averting potential product losses and the associated costs,” says Jean Pierre Emond, co-director of the center and associate professor of packaging science at the university. “In the near future, equipment interacting with these tagged products will become even smarter, responding to highly specific product safety needs. The CFDR already is working with equipment manufacturers to accomplish that goal.”

CFDR has an advisory board with presidents or vice presidents of retail, foodservice and restaurant chains from around the world. These members have helped the center conduct RFID tests on their operations.

Also, the center has projects under way with fresh produce packagers Tanimura & Antle and Fresh Express, both based in Salinas, Calif., and Beaver Street Fisheries, a frozen seafood company headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla.

Franwell has helped the CFDR establish a state-of-the-art RFID laboratory — one of the largest in the country focusing on RFID issues related to food distribution. Franwell is particularly involved with integrating RFID into packaging and is using research at the center to address “issues related to products that are not RFID-friendly, especially products containing water and metal. Water and metal play a major role in all fresh food and beverage products. But it becomes a challenge to read an entire pallet of [such] products without scanning each case one by one.”

Says Emond, “We can work around the problem of product density and composition by changing the package shape, changing the air space in the package, or changing the tag position and orientation. Product temperature also is an important factor. The colder the product, the easier tag reading becomes. Frozen products absorb less radio waves.

“But other factors affect the readability,” Emond continues, “such as forklift handling, vibrations and impacts during transport and retailers’ warehouse practices. So, achieving consistent, reliable tag readability is really a product-by-product puzzle, requiring custom solutions.”

Emond emphasizes, “We have to give credit to Tanimura & Antle, Fresh Express, and Beaver Street Fisheries for their RFID initiatives. All three of these companies have given significant amounts of their time to developing the knowledge required to achieve successful RFID. And the two-way partnerships we have with these companies provide us with valuable input.”

Rockwell has established its own RFID test lab at its headquarters in Milwaukee. It creates a simulated factory environment to allow accurate testing and evaluation of a wide variety of RFID products. Products from Alien Technology, ConnecTerra, FKI Logistex, SAMSys Technologies and Zebra Technologies already are installed there.

Many food companies are hoping to realize a good return on investment by taking a cautious, minimalist approach to RFID implementation. The prevailing mood seems to be: “First, let’s make sure it works.”

Adhering to standards

RFID technology is in the process of emerging and evolving, and so are the standards surrounding its use. Consequently, many food companies feel as if they are trying to hit a moving target.

Wal-Mart is spearheading this technology. The large supermarket chain Albertson’s also recently came on board the RFID technology train. Mass adoption across the retailer universe is inevitable at some point. As a result, food companies realize they can’t afford to fall behind the curve.

“Your company wants to maintain mega-retailer business by participating in their RFID program – coding pallets and cases for data collection and tracking,” says a spokesman for Omron Electronics LLC (, Schaumburg, Ill. “But other compelling business growth issues make RFID much more useful than just meeting mandates from large retailers.” He listed these collateral benefits as improving your agility to manufacture a wider variety of products; delivering seasonal and regional product cost-effectively and on-time; and reducing waste from misdirected shipments.

Food manufacturers fully understand the product traceability and inventory control benefits that RFID can offer. But compliance has significant cost implications for the food industry. So, food processors/packagers are taking a cautious approach, especially in the face of continually changing and developing standards.

Dean explains that EPCglobal (, a joint venture between EAN International and the Uniform Code Council Inc., is charged with setting the standards for tags, which will control what and how much data is in each tag. “The U.S. Dept. of Defense (DoD) has been very aggressive in its use of RFID and recently finalized its policy, as have some major retailers like Wal-Mart,” he says. “We believe the Dept. of Agriculture could and maybe should be involved from a traceability and food safety perspective while these standards are in the development cycle.”

As mentioned before, Tanimura & Antle has been working with CFDR on testing of tags and readers. According to Tom Casas, vice president of information technology, T&A is prepared to go active with RFID this month (thereby meeting Wal-Mart’s supplier implementation deadline), for wrapped head lettuce packed in returnable plastic containers. The wrapped lettuce heads are packed 24 per container, 40 containers per pallet.

“We are starting off small. We will add cauliflower, broccoli and celery after the lettuce launch,” Casas says. “RFID is costly, but it gives us more sophisticated traceability. We manually apply the tags in the field at the case level. So, when cases get shifted from one pallet to another, we can still track them very closely.”

Based on tests done at CFDR, T&A chose two reading systems — from Matrics (, Rockville, Md., and from Alien Technology (, Morgan Hill, Calif. Both systems incorporate chips and antennae and execute good reads on tagged products with water content.

“RFID is costing us about 50 cents per case tag. That quickly adds up for high volumes of relatively low-cost items like heads of lettuce,” Casas comments. “But we believe the benefits in terms of food safety and traceability and market access will offset that cost in the long run. To some degree, implementing RFID is a leap of faith. We have to trust our marketing instincts and our technology partners.”

Franwell’s Dean adds, “We as an industry must use partnering and collaboration as the means to solve the many issues facing the wide-spread adoption of RFID. It’s a big job requiring cooperative efforts to get it done right.”

Active vs passive RFID tags
One of the first decisions for any food processor is deciding between passive or active RFID tagging. The choice is affected by both functional requirements of particular food products (for example, close real-time temperature monitoring) and budgetary realties confronting the food companies.

Current passive tag technology has some limitations in terms of readability and durability. But active tags are more expensive.

So why not a little of both? One company championing hybrid implementation of passive tags, active tags and other forms of auto-ID is RF Code Inc. (, Mesa, Ariz. The company is the developer and supplier of Tavis data management software platforms and Mantis active RFID tags and readers.

“Cumulatively measured, passive RFID is quite limited in its physical durability,” says president Armando Viteri. “To get effective range, these tags are quite large, thus making them a very big target for the tines of a fork lift. Passive labels are better suited for case-level applications.”

RF Code has been pioneering the integration of tracking technologies to optimize their combined performance in the supply chain. One successful project involved placing active RFID tags on intermediate bulk containers (IBCs) filled with products such as industrial food ingredients, and then reinforcing that tracking method with global positioning systems (GPS) on transport trucks. UK-based IBC rental company pH Europe began using this system to transport and track an array of products in the summer of 2004, and has been honored with several European supply chain and information management awards for the innovation.

“There are four key elements of RFID: the tags themselves, tag readers, data monitoring/collection systems, and business applications software,” says Royanna Chappell, vice president of emerging applications at RedPrairie Corp. (, a Waukesha, Wis., RFID system architect. “To successfully implement RFID, users need to evaluate how all these technology elements integrate and operate across their entire corporate network and information sharing systems. It’s a mistake to get too focused on one element at the expense of the other three.”

RedPrairie works with food and beverage companies building custom RFID solutions to meet the needs of a range of clients, including processors of breakfast cereals, snack foods, spreads and drink products. The integrator then works with various wireless data collection system suppliers (such as RF Code) and labeling systems suppliers (such as Avery Dennison).

Chappell also points out users need to determine what and how much data they want to encode on the tags, in addition to EPC elements. “Right now, the options are 64-bit or 96-bit tags, but in the future 256-bit tags will be available,” she says. “Regardless of the tagging solution selected, for the foreseeable future, bar codes will continue to play a significant role, working in tandem with RFID tags.

“The industry is on a learning curve about RFID technology,” she continues. “Companies are still seeking greater understanding regarding the benefits and pitfalls. This learning curve is going to continue through 2005 and 2006. Widespread, real-world knowledge about the application of RFID in the food industry and other industries probably won’t mature and solidify until 2007 or 2008. New technologies do not come without certain complications.”

There has never, of course, been a time when product security was not important, but in today’s globalized marketplace – with all the factors that come into play – ensuring traceability along the supply chain is a more complicated, and yet vital, process than ever before. Added to this, there is growing pressure from both consumers and legislators for transparency from producers and suppliers. All of this calls for ever-more sophisticated tracking solutions.

Traceability is a factor in all sectors, but in Europe the focus from a legislative perspective – as laid out in the FMD Directive – is still heavily on prescription pharmaceutical goods.

“The system in the EU only covers prescription medicines,” says Alastair Hanlon, CCO at PragmatIC Semiconductor, “but the level of counterfeiting in OTC medicines and many other market segments is also very high and can also have very damaging outcomes. There are huge potential benefits to extending the system to more product categories. Then there are further opportunities to use the serialization for track and trace from factory to the consumer. While this is not a requirement yet (in the EU or the US), enabling track and trace will need significant investment from all actors in the supply chain.”

As others have already pointed out on this platform, the EU could do worse than follow the example of Russia in this regard. Russia has taken the long view with its trace and trace system, setting up a series of public-private partnerships and rolling it out to include an increasing range of sectors from personal care to food and drink.

“While Russia’s approach is characteristically bold,” says Alastair, “other countries have focused on prescription pharmaceuticals as the first products that require serialization and are likely to build from there. The key lesson from Russia is, whatever products you’re seeking to protect, these systems must be built with scale in mind.”

RFID – ‘An obvious choice for supply chain traceability’

In simple terms, the two most ubiquitous track and trace technologies in use today are barcodes and RFID. In this article, our focus will be on the latter, as, according to Alastair Hanlon, RFID has several advantages over the present barcodes on the market.

“It can be added under the label, so doesn’t require real estate on the package of a minimum size; it’s difficult to copy and doesn’t need line of sight to read. Barcodes can also easily be damaged by wrinkles or over-writing, image defects etc. Large numbers of RFID tagged items can be read in a very short period of time, making stock control/inventory checking very fast and efficient. Couple this with the software and databases that have been developed to manage RFID records, and it is an obvious choice to use this technology for supply chain traceability.”

Certainly, we have by no means exhausted the prospects for RFID and it will continue to have a key role to play within wider systems. “Where RFID’s future importance comes into play is when the technology is implemented as part of a larger infrastructure development,” says Norberto Bermudez, Product Manager Europe at SATO, “whereby the business connects their existing software, such as warehouse management system or enterprise resource planning system, to analyse and monitor real-time data to help prevent downtime or develop new opportunities.”

To improve efficiency and safety further in a wider range of end-use markets, increased functionality including smart temperature or moisture sensors could be incorporated into RFID systems. As Norberto Bermudez points out, extreme changes in temperature during transport can potentially be very dangerous.

“For example, many seafood supply chains are heavily regulated and require unique RFID technology that includes their species name on capture, so they can later be scanned by QR code into a warehouse management system to prevent mislabelling. In the pharmaceutical industry, efficient track and trace systems can help reduce monetary loss by only recalling the faulty product, rather than the entire batch. Serialized items can also be located easily to provide potential life-saving information, such as displaying expiry dates or alerting operators to counterfeiting concerns.”

Then there is near-field communication (NFC) technology – sometimes referred to as the ‘next step up’ from RFID, although the two could perhaps be best described as complementary. RFID and NRC technology can be combined to create a complete experience. It gives brand owners the ability to communicate important information about the product – and its authenticity – directly to the consumer rather than only retailers or distributors etc.

“The main driver for using NFC is that the end consumer has a reader in their pocket – their smartphone,” says Alastair Hanlon. “The reason that the vast majority of modern phones have NFC is because of contactless payment. Android phones have allowed the use of the same NFC for other applications for some time, and we are now seeing Apple allowing the use for things other than ApplePay as well. So using NFC extends the use of embedded electronics all the way through the supply chain right to the customer.”

How can traceability be extended to waste management?

But when we think of track and trace technologies we should not only consider their benefits in terms of security and consumer safety. Less appreciated is the role they can play in building a circular economy. What happens after the consumer has bought the product, and can traceability be extended to addressing the waste stream? After all, some of the biggest circularity challenges we face at the moment are related to inadequacy – or lack of uniformity – in regional recycling and waste infrastructures.

“We have several sustainability projects ongoing, for example using the technology to help track waste to ensure it isn’t fly-tipped; using it to sort waste to maximize the value of that waste and keep it in circulation; or enabling reuse models,” says Alastair Hanlon. “The area we are really excited about is how it can be used to reduce waste – for example by adding sensors and a small amount of compute, it will be possible to ensure that food has been kept in optimum conditions and remove the need for conservative sell-by dates.”

Norberto Bermudez emphasizes the impact mislabelling can have on product waste. “Essentially,” he says, “faulty labelling means the company has to reproduce the item that was mislabelled then re-transport the goods through logistics, thus generating more material waste and energy, increasing their overall carbon footprint. Track and trace technologies can help to combat these errors. For example, in the food industry, items tagged with RFID labels that later need to be recalled due to safety concerns can be individually identified and returned accurately, reducing waste and with minimal impact on carbon footprint. Our CT4-LX label printing solution is ideal for businesses looking to reduce their impact on the environment. Its RFID capabilities provide heightened flexibility for track and trace inventory management, while its increased data collection input delivers re-labelling accuracy.”

We can also expect to see the plastic waste itself being tagged with RFID, to help identify individual materials and make it easier to sort in the waste streams. The SORT-IT project by PragmatIC has been designed to do just that. And finally, we are now seeing RFID technology that is plastic-free by design and easily recyclable. Stora Enso’s ECO™ RFID tag technology that enables paper-based tags are just one case in point, but this is likely just a taste of what is to come.

Where next?

Looking forward, there will be steadily increasing automation of track and trace processes – something that has already been speeded up by the COVID-19 crisis.

“Who could have imagined we could transition so quickly to online in some many aspects of life?” says Alastair. “In the past year we have seen e-commerce explode, e-health catch on, but with more of us using the internet, there are more possibilities for fraud and so traceability from source to consumer, ie. a secure and transparent supply chain, is even more important. In future there will also be more and more AI added to the systems that predict trends, for example to anticipate restocking.”

Many experts also seem to agree that blockchain will have a major role to play in traceability, as in so many things. This can be combined with technologies like the Internet of Things to automate the tracking of production, transport and quality control. It will also allow companies to share their track and trace data with customers – while preserving certain aspects of IP – in order to provide proof of authenticity and ethical supply chains.