Post harvest inventory control software for audits, recalls, automatic fresh produce inventory inventory control for packers and processors of fresh produce.  Post harvest inventory control software for for fresh produce packing, processing, export/import, sales – for fruit, vegetable, seafood packers.

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 inventory control

Maintain strict fresh produce inventory control 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%

Inventory control 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.

Post harvest inventory control software for audits, recalls, automatic fresh produce inventory inventory control for packers and processors of fresh produce.   Post harvest inventory control software for for fresh produce packing, processing, export/import, sales – for fruit, vegetable, seafood packers.

Farmsoft fresh produce inventory control is for fruit & vegetable packer, processor, import/export.  Full fresh produce inventory control, auditing, inventory control, 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 inventory control.

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 inventory control 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 inventory control

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 inventory control tracking with expiring inventory reminders.
Cold store management software for fruit importers, exporters, packers, cross docking, and short and long term fruit storage.

Post harvest inventory control software for audits, recalls, automatic fresh produce inventory inventory control for packers and processors of fresh produce.  Post harvest inventory control software for for fresh produce packing, processing, export/import, sales – for fruit, vegetable, seafood packers.

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

Tesco food safety compliance food packers
Tesco food safety compliance for food manufacturers, packers, import, export, wholesale.  Tesco customers expect us to only sell products made to the highest quality and that are responsibly sourced. They trust us to ensure that all our products are safe and comply with all the applicable laws and regulations.

Within Tesco we have a number of highly skilled teams and colleagues across the globe that are dedicated to ensuring our customer expectations are not only met but exceeded. They manage the quality of products from the original product concept right through to our stores and customers.
Although this page is based on our UK business, a similar approach is taken across our international markets whilst ensuring all legal and cultural differences are acknowledged and catered for.  Through understanding customers and their needs, product and market trends our expert team of developers work hard to bring great quality, innovative and value for money products to the market; our dedicated team of food researchers and chefs constantly review food trends and bring new food ideas to life to meet those customer needs.
Fresh Produce Bar Code Scanning

Fresh produce bar code scanning in agriculture easily delivers improved inventory control in the fruit boxing and fresh produce packing space.  The FarmSoft team has add new features to the FarmSoft packhouse mobile (smart phone, iphone, tablets, and PDA’s) interfaces and new interfaces for in line bar-code scanning to allow rapid recording of packed fruit and vegetable via bar-code systems. Implement FarmSoft to make your fresh produce fruit packing easier and more efficient. FarmSoft delivers bar code scanning for packing sheds, packhouses, and fruit packers, exporters, importers and wholesalers.

FarmSoft fresh produce bar code scanning allows users to choose from a mobile interface that allows smartphones and PDA devices to scan boxed and packed fresh produce to record pallet contents. Fresh produce inventory and stock management with bar code systems ensures inventory control and accuracy. FarmSoft’s bar code software for pack sheds makes fresh produce inventory control easy.

Bar-code inventory control

FarmSoft bar code inventory control is rapid to implement, and easy to maintain. Implementing FarmSoft bar code inventory control for fresh produce processing delivers increased accuracy of inventory control, easy inventory management, and can result in reduced fresh produce waste.
FarmSoft bar code inventory control provides multiple fruit labeling solutions which can be tailored to meet client inventory handling requirements.
Bar code inventory control
FarmSoft bar code inventory control provides a comprehensive fruit inventory control system for packhouses, pack sheds, and fruit and vegetable processors. FarmSoft bar code inventory control makes fresh produce inventory handling easy! Contact FarmSoft today to receive these benefits.
Case level inventory control

Case level inventory control brings fresh produce processors, packers, and marketers easy and rapid inventory control. Implement FarmSoft in no time at all, and start reducing processing waste!  Easy to deploy, farmsoft case level inventory control is the best friend of any company looking to improve inventory control in their food / fresh produce processing enterprise. Farmsoft delivers tangible improvements in food safety compliance and standards maintenance. Implementing farmsoft case level inventory control for fresh produce processing delivers increased accuracy of inventory control, easy inventory management, and can result in reduced fresh produce waste.

Farm to fork inventory control for reliable food safety and best handling practices for fresh produce – while reducing waste and increasing efficiency!  FarmSoft’s farm to fork inventory control solution delivers bullet proof fresh produce inventory control management in every way. FarmSoft’s farm to fork inventory control solution channels staff through the correct farming and fresh produce handling processes ensuring maximum food safety and inventory control is being maintained at all times.

Combine both FarmSoft Farm Software AND FarmSoft Fruit inventory control to create a complete farm to fork inventory control solution.
In addition to the inventory control features of FarmSoft, the system also provides a comprehensive fresh produce business management suite that takes care of every section of your business including: quality control, invoice, dispatch, sales, contracts, staff labor, packing labor, packhouse reporting and more.

Fresh Produce inventory control India – FarmSoft’s fresh produce management software brings new levels of inventory control and efficiency to Indian farming and fresh produce packing, processing, and exporting.  FarmSoft guides users through the fresh produce handling procedures to ensure the safest, highest quality fruit and vegetables with minimum waste. From quality control, waste analysis, to fresh produce labeling – FarmSoft delivers for professional fruit and vegetable processors and packers. Download FarmSoft’s Fresh Produce inventory control India specifications here.

FarmSoft India
Professionally manage and monitor all post harvest processes including quality control, storage, inventory, sorting, grading, washing, packing, sales, invoice, and dispatch.
Traceability requirements matrix fresh produce

Traceability requirements matrix fresh produce packing, processing, value adding.   Traceability requirements matrix fresh produce
Traceability requirements matrix in fresh produce

EASY inventory control
Makes fresh inventory food safety compliance & audits easy.
Traceability requirements matrix fresh produce
Traceability requirements matrix fresh produce.
Blockchain for fresh produce inventory control

Visit our official fresh produce blockchain site for the latest fresh produce blockchain information.
Ask your farmsoft consultant if your chosen block-chain protocol or format is supported.
Blockchain – Essential for Fresh Produce inventory control
The Produce inventory control Initiative, was designed to help the Produce Industry maximize the effectiveness of current traceback procedures, while developing a standardized industry approach to enhance the speed and efficiency.
Food inventory control Software

FarmSoft food inventory control software delivers bulletproof food safety and reduces business risk.  The FarmSoft is built on a solid platform of food inventory control and safety standards. FarmSoft guides users through the food processing and manufacturing phases. The FarmSoft food inventory control software suite specializes in processing and manufacturing involving fresh produce, fruit, and vegetables. Dried, cured, juiced, pulped, or even made into value added jelly and jams. Click here to download food inventory control software specifications.

Fresh Produce inventory control Bar-code

Fresh Produce inventory control Bar-codes for fruit & vegetable packers, processors, and food manufacturers.  Fresh Produce inventory control is much more than applying a label to the packed fruit or vegetable. FarmSoft delivers strict fresh produce inventory control guidelines for supply chain end to end food safety & transparency.

Ensuring that the inventory control chain has no gaps in it is important to reduce the risk exposure of your business. If there is a breach in the inventory control chain, then the whole inventory control enforcement system has failed and becomes a pointless expense. FarmSoft ensures 100% accuracy of inventory control throughout the entire life-cycle of fresh produce, from pre-planting, to post sales inventory control guideline adherence. FarmSoft ensures your business is not unnecessarily exposed, while minimizing compliance costs. 

GS1 inventory control for fresh produce

FarmSoft GS1 inventory control system does much more than just print labels! Manage your inventory, maintain inventory control, pack, process, and store fresh produce. Perform sales and dispatch and invoicing. Reduce fresh produce waste.  FarmSoft GS1 inventory control system does much more than just print labels! Manage your inventory, maintain inventory control, pack, process, and store fresh produce. Perform sales and dispatch and invoicing. Reduce fresh produce waste.
farmsoft makes fresh produce GS1 inventory control easy!
Increase the efficiency of fresh produce deliveries using options like scanning incoming bar-codes to reduce data entry, save time, and reduce errors. Scan incoming fresh produce deliveries or use "one touch" rapid inventory creation screens to increase accuracy & reduce data entry time.

FarmSoft track and trace provides end to end supply chain transparency for fresh produce inventory control. Implement FarmSoft to guarantee the highest level of inventory control both up and down the supply chain!  FarmSoft track and trace is a comprehensive fresh produce business management solution that caters for all operational processes from quality control, inventory, sales, dispatch, and orders. FarmSoft even provides food manufacturing, good manufacturing management, and value adding features. FarmSoft track and trace software provides many innovative features to bring easily maintained benefits to the fresh produce processor, packer, and marketer.

Using the FarmSoft inventory control code, customers, and end consumers can track and trace fresh produce simply by scanning a QR code with their smartphone. The track and trace system will then present the customer/end consumer with the inventory control or marketing information as chosen by the packer. This helps to improve customer confidence and provides supply chain transparency to promote the concept of food safety.
Produce inventory control Initiative PTI

Produce inventory control Initiative (PTI), HACCP, GlobalGAP, CanGAP, EuroGAP, BRC, Bio-Terrorism, ISO and more…Simple PTI solution - software for fruit and vegetable processing

Farmsoft delivers opportunities to reduce waste during the packing, processing, storage, and distribution phases. By enforcing best practices, FIFO (when practical), inventory expiry monitoring, and easy stock takes - your company has every opportunity to minimize waste and maximize profit. From bar code managed inventory, inventory labeling, to 3D pallet storage, farmsoft delivers on reduced waste.
Perform recalls in seconds, with the full confidence of accuracy and reliability. Minimize risk by ensuring accurate inventory control is automatically captured. Pass audits with ease & reduce compliance costs using farmsofts inventory control guidelines. Trace fresh produce up and down the supply chain, over multiple inventory control hops. Instantly produce spray records, residue analysis, soil analysis, and any other farm inventory control records if you use our farm solution.

Inventory inventory control software for reduced post harvest waste

Inventory inventory control software
The purpose of the Fruit & Vegetables implementation guidance is to provide best practice guidelines for industry-wide adoption for New Item Listing and update of existing assortment. This guide provides support to companies seeking to electronically exchange fruit & vegetable product information in accordance with GS1 Standards. The guidance applies to the full range of fruit & vegetable trade items. The guide outlines which attributes should be used for fruit & vegetable items and recommends best practices for the use of these standards to exchange static fruit & vegetable data between suppliers and retailers. Today, different platforms as well as different means to item identification exist when it comes to data sharing. inventory control case study for Paramount Citrus, inventory control case study for Mother Earth Organic Mushrooms, SunFed visibility of produce throughout supply chain with case and item level inventory control. JemD Farms, greenhouse grower with GS1 Standards and the Produce inventory control Initiative.
The use of GS1 Standards, specifically for Identification, Master Data Alignment, inventory control, Track and Trace, Barcode labels and EDI transactions, provides a common platform to help supply.
Simple inventory control solution

Simple inventory control solution - software for fruit and vegetable packing
Processors and packers involved in the fresh produce industry deal with a lot of compliance and inventory control issues. If the worst happens and a product recall needs to be effected immediately, they have to be able to trace where the raw ingredients of fruit and vegetables came from, what was done to them, when and where the finished products have gone.
Fresh produce processors and packers manufacturers are subject to quality audits and they can often practice recalls and food safety incidents. From a business perspective, these activities often can be expensive and cumbersome to comply with, without the use of a simple inventory control solution that is integrated into the businesses fresh produce handling processes and guidelines.
As a supplier to the food manufacturing or fresh produce processing or handling and retail industry, quality control and inventory control are key for any manufacturer. Farmsoft delivers solutions in Australia, USA, Canada, UK, Europe, Africa, and Asian regions. Use farmsoft to become compliant and increased efficiency.

Less waste, more inventory control

Less waste, more inventory control: Full featured software for fresh produce processing, packing, sales, export/import & distribution.  MINIMIZE FRESH PRODUCE WASTE

For handlers of perishable goods, reduce waste during packing, processing, cold store, order picking and dispatch phases. Enforce GMP and best practices, FIFO (when practical), inventory expiry monitoring, and easy stock takes to help minimize waste and maximise profit. Receive detailed alerts when waste is encountered through quality issues, or possible human error.
Learn more about farmsoft post harvest solutions
Manage your fruit & vegetable packing / processing operation with a simple inventory control solution, or implement a comprehensive enterprise management solution. Easily comply with standards for Walmart, Tesco, Woolworths, Aldi, Loblaw, Coles, USDA, FSMA, GFSI, AANZFTA, PTI, HACCP - for full inventory inventory control using PC/Mac or inventory control app.
MORE inventory control!

Fresh produce export documentation

Farmsoft makes fresh produce export documentation easy with new features that generate international standard fresh produce export documentation for fresh produce producers, processors, and packers.   Rapidly generate fresh produce export documentation on demand!

Farmsoft makes fresh produce export documentation easy with new features that generate international standard fresh produce export documentation for fresh produce producers, processors, and packers. The modern packing and processing facility is busy environment. Dealing with the excess of export regulations and paperwork requirements can often be a headache. Farmsoft guides users through the documentation process, reducing administration costs, and increasing productivity.
Contact a farmsoft consultant today to discuss your fresh produce export documentation options today.
Farmsoft takes the effort out of preparing fresh produce export documentation for fruit, vegetable, coffee, hop, and grain producers by generating commonly used export documentation.  

Reduce fresh produce waste, Orders - Quality - Production - Sales & shipping - Recalls & audits - Dashboards, analysis, business intelligence.   Reduce fresh produce waste, make production and shipments 100% accurate

Strict inventory management ensures FIFO and no orphaned fresh produce inventory, no loss of inventory due handling processes.
Production management ensures every order is filled accurately, dispatch is planned in advance, and correct shipments dispatched on time, every time.
Sales dashboards help marketing and sales teams plan orders, schedule production, and identify any fresh produce that needs to be sold before it becomes waste.
A choice of interfaces to suit every environment gives your team a simple fresh produce business management tool.
Manage fresh produce inventory stored at an unlimited number of sites / packhouses, and unlimited warehouses
Manage and monitor the storage and status (ie: in processes such as sorting, grading, cooling, ripening etc) of all fresh produce inventory, regardless of its state.

Launching Inventory Management and Post-Harvest Functionality

Farmsoft has always focused on building tools for your growing team. Early on, this meant focusing heavily on the plant only while it grows (from seed to harvest). Over the past few months and after countless conversations with our customers, we’ve been hard at work building tools that extend beyond harvest and begin prior to seed. Today, we’re incredibly excited to launch our new Inventory Management and Post-Harvest functionality!

Inventory Management
Growers need the ability to track raw materials as they are consumed throughout the growing process. Most growers we work with passively track inventory on spreadsheets. This leads to over-purchasing items or worse, running out when you need items the most. Also, growers need to track when certain fertilizer, pesticides, or other applications are applied to crops for compliance and traceability. Now, you can do both right in Farmsoft.

Traceability is at the heart of what we do. We are introducing a new concept of inputs and outputs that can be consumed or produced throughout your workflow. This enables you to track raw materials as they are consumed, deduct quantities from your inventory automatically, and provide visibility into what products are on hand at all times.

In addition to managing materials inventory, we are also launching a new feature to help growers manage work-in-progress, called Stages. This allows you to flexibly control additional stages of your workflow to properly manage live inventory real-time. You can now add stages to your growth cycles, creating additional production visibility.

Growers can now also track harvests through packing and shipping stages in Farmsoft. If you’re packing SKUs with multiple varieties, you can simply create package templates that consume the outputs (harvest) of batches. You can also add timelines and tasks, which can account for cooler times or inspection checklists for example. Our new post-harvest functionality also integrates with Farmsoft and CCA for cannabis operators who want to create packages in Farmsoft and sync directly with your compliance system.   

Harvest Inventory Management and Storage

Agriculture inventory mismanagement processes lack precision and efficiency and cost the world around $1 trillion a year, and more in waste .

Grain Inventory mismanagement alone costs the world $1 trillion or more annually, representing losses of up to 50-60% of product. Due to inefficient storage methods, an estimated 52% of the nation’s essential fruits and vegetables are being discarded and 34% are ruined before leaving the farm, leading us to assume similarly scaled financial losses for fruit and vegetable inventory mismanagement, and demonstrating the scale of the issue for the industry as a whole.

Industry Categories
All STRATO Use Cases

Related Topics
agriculture | agriculture industry | AgTech | inventory management | precision ag | STRATO Use Case | Supply Chain | waste management

Key STRATO Features

Context & Challenges
Inventory management is a tricky practice to perfect and if not executed properly, can lead to immense post-harvest losses and food waste, one of the foremost concerns for farmers. Mainland China reported that it loses 12% of its grain and 20% of its potato and fruit product due to improper storage.

To reduce these losses and the astronomical costs that accompany them, farmers must proactively store inventory at a carbon dioxide concentration below 600 parts per million in order to curb mold growth and infestation. Currently, there are sensors in production that can discover and flag any potential losses 3-5 weeks earlier than traditional temperature monitoring methods, which often only uncover risks too late to fully prevent losses.

Proper farm inventory storage relies on adequate and accurate data, full oversight of all activities in real-time, and proper communication between all parties. Without these factors, there will inevitably be costly financial, product, and resource losses.

While product waste occurs throughout the supply chain, reducing losses at the post-harvest storage stage could significantly reduce waste throughout the chain, especially as it sits at the beginning of the supply chain.

If agricultural products are stored properly, they are more likely to meet retailers' standards and not be discarded at this stage.

Food loss is an issue that affects the industry on a financial, social, and environmental level.

If product is stored incorrectly, farmers lose product they have put resources and time into, creating financial and agricultural waste. Additionally, disposing of food waste can be very costly and difficult, as it is a highly regulated practice.

If food is ruined at the storage stage, distributors cannot pick up the promised quantities, which can affect their margins.

The Environment
Wasted food not only involves lost resources, disposing of food waste can also be unfriendly to the environment and very costly.

Food losses mean lower yields, which inherently affects society's ability to feed itself. This is particularly important in countries that rely on smallholder farmers, which tend to have the highest proportion of losses due to storage.

Farmsoft Post Harvest Sensor

Cost-effective ethylene detection allowing you to accurately forecast
ripeness of produce, receive real-time alerts and automate ethylene
cleaners & other FoodTech systems.

What's at stake?
Agribusiness is one of the largest industries in the world, valued at approximately $US 1.4 trillion a year. While this figure is astounding, there is an ever-expanding percentage of food loss & wastage year-in-year-out.

The main contributor to food waste is fruits and vegetables with a staggering 45% of all post-harvest produce being lost or wasted within the food supply chain. This is roughly 1.3 billion tonnes of food, which equates to $US 680 billion dollars worth of wasted produce not reaching an end consumer each year.

To combat this industry problem, Farmsoft Post Harvest have created the most accurate real-time ripening sensor in the world, to help monitor the health of fresh produce shipments within supply chain storage.

How it works
As the world struggles with overwhelming food wastage, Farmsoft Post Harvest has
developed a patented technology to help proactively deal with the problem,
in the form of an atmosphere reader.

Highly sensitive detection
Farmsoft Post Harvest technology cost-effectively detects extremely low levels of gas in the atmosphere, as a way of tracking fresh produce quality as it is moved through the supply chain.

Representation of the roles of robotics in the post-harvest supply chain. The post-harvest supply chain consists of Quality control & sorting shortly after harvest, Storage on location or during transportation, Pick & pack to prepare produce for the next actor in the chain, Distribution to retail, and Retail itself. Robotic technologies can support multiple activities in the chain, including manipulation operations (such as grading, sorting, packaging, palletizing) and storage management and material flow (using mobile robots for, i.a. real-time monitoring of product quality and storage conditions, automated inventory and stock management, efficient space organization)

 Monitoring quality and safety, making decisions, and taking actions along the different parts of the post-harvest chain require different approaches that depend on the individual chain elements. Robotics can play a vital role in addressing such challenges in the post-harvest chain. The role of advances in robotics is reported here with a focus on monitoring, maintaining, and preserving product quality, as well as facilitating quality-driven decision-making in the post-harvest supply chain.

In the following sections, the current state and the outlook of robotics for post-harvest quality management are detailed with emphasis on two key perspectives: manipulation and navigation. Both perspectives emphasize varying degrees of interaction between the robot and its environment, ranging from the grasping and manipulation of objects to navigation and transport. Subsequent sections attend to robotic technologies suitable for grasping, manipulation, and movement of fresh products across the post-harvest supply chain. The conclusions are reported in the closing section. To keep the survey size manageable, contact-free sensing technologies and artificial intelligence, though highly relevant, are not included in the scope of the survey.

Robotic Manipulation
One of the most common set of robotic activities in post-harvest processes is repetitive pick-and-place operations, which range from grading/sorting actions to processing, packaging, and palletizing [9, 12••]. A key distinction to be considered here is when manipulation requires direct contact with the fresh product (grading, sorting, cutting, primary packaging) against indirect contact (e.g., stacking and palletizing).

Indirect Contact
Indirect contact primarily involves grasping, moving, and placing uniform and rigid objects, albeit of different weight, shape, and size, such as individual packages or crates stacked on pallets. Such applications are prevalent from the moment of harvest (stacking crates with harvest), through transport and storage, all the way to retail. These are some of the more common applications with several exiting industrial robotic solutions [9, 12••] (Fig. 2). Such robots are generally not specific to food industry, but their deployment needs to consider which robots fit the existing factory floor planning, payload capacity, and right end-effectors to handle the diversity (in size, shape, weight, intact/deformable) of packages to be handled. Therefore, the current need of the industry is to have a structured approach to industrial robot selection suited to their current processes. In a recent work, Bader and Rahimifard propose the 4-step FIRM (Food Industrial Robot Methodology) approach for industrial robot selection in food processing operations [12••]. The scope of their work is broader than post-harvest products and processes, but the methodology is highly relevant for processes where industrial robots already exist.

Fig. 2
figure 2
Examples of industrial robot solutions for object handling where the robot does not directly make contact with the product inside the packages. a ABB robotic palletizer IRB 660 (source: ABB Robotics); b FANUC M410-iB mixed palletizing solution (source: FANUC); and, c Depalletizing robot solution from SERFRUIT (source: SERFRUIT)

Full size image
Direct Contact
In the post-harvest supply chain, direct contact between the robot and the products occurs primarily during quality control (e.g., grading and sorting) and pick-place operations (e.g., primary packaging). The main point of contact is between the produce and the robotic end-effector (a.k.a. end-of-arm tooling), which can grab, hold, and release objects, as well as move the objects to a desired location. Although a variety of robotic handling solutions have been proposed in industry as well as academia, robotic handling approaches have been slow to catch on in the food industry. Contributing factors include societal issues such as economic and social barriers, as well as technological limitations for flexible grasping and manipulation, and adverse effects of direct contact on product organoleptic quality and overall hygiene [9, 12••, 28, 29]. Here, we focus on the technological perspective.

Robotic grasping and manipulation actions that require direct contact with the fresh products pose two primary challenges:

Products are difficult to grasp and manipulate: complex and varied characteristics of the products (irregular shapes and sizes (e.g., ranging from rigid cabbage to soft and fragile berries) and high deformability (e.g., a bunch of grapes)) make them extremely difficult to grasp and manipulate. Several works have extensively categorized foodstuff characteristics and the challenges they pose for manipulation [12••, 30•, 31•].

Grasping and manipulation may damage the product. Improper handling exposes fresh produce to damage and pathogen spread, which affect the overall post-harvest quality, leading to changes not only in appearance, but also in other organoleptic properties such as taste, smell, and texture [8, 12••, 30•].

The traditional, and most prominent, approaches for robotic handling of fresh products in the industry are contact-based (e.g., electric, pneumatic, hydraulic, inflating rubber, multi-body mechanism grippers) and air-based (e.g., suction cups commonly coupled with contact-based grippers, Bernoulli principle-based levitation grippers) [12••, 28, 29, 31•]. Other mechanisms, such as pinching and freeze gripping that are common for foodstuff manipulation, are generally not suitable for fruits and vegetables since the gripping principles are inherently destructive to fresh products. Adding compliant materials to gripping elements (e.g., rubber pads) is a widely employed, but an incomplete solution to the problem.

Given the difficulty to handle a variety of fresh products and the potential to damage by grasping, traditional end-effectors are suitable only for a limited number of products. That is, the solutions are not universal. In particular, handling of fragile products is extremely challenging with traditional end-effectors. With advances in materials science and soft components, there is an increasing trend towards lighter, simpler, and more generalized grasping solutions [31•, 32, 33]. In the design of such universal grippers, advanced materials are increasingly studied that can change shape in response to external or internal actuators as well as to their interactions with objects [32, 34]. Application of these materials makes grippers capable of grasping and manipulating a wide array of objects of different shapes, sizes, and rigidity. Additionally, increased mechanical compliance also means that the control complexity for these grippers is highly reduced. In the last decade, several such solutions, primarily silicone elastomer-based grippers, have transitioned from research labs to commercial products [35]. Due to strict hygiene requirements, not all of these end-effectors are suitable for fresh products (or foodstuff, in general). In recent years, several food-grade soft end-effectors have been commercialized which are waterproof and cleanable for foodstuff handling (Fig. 3).

Fig. 3
figure 3
Examples of soft end-effectors capable of handling irregular and fragile products, and meeting hygiene standards for post-harvest applications. a FinRay gripper “DHAS” from Festo modeled on the fin of a fish (source: Festo); b OnRobot Softgripper, a flexible food-grade gripper which does not require external air supply for grasping and releasing actions (source: OnRobot)

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Soft robotics grasping and manipulation remains a highly active field of research with inspiration coming from i.a. material properties (such as silicone elastomers, shape memory materials, active polymers, and gels) [32], biology [33, 36], and folding and cutting patterns [37, 38]. These approaches will play a key role in handling soft and delicate products and are highly relevant for a multitude of fresh products not manipulable via traditional rigid-joint end-effectors.

Immediate data collection
Farmsoft Post Harvest's device collects atmospheric data on a regular cycle, providing highly accurate predictions of ripening timelines; without ever having to handle the product.

Real-time notifications
Farmsoft Post Harvest's software has the ability to collect any and all data from the Environmental Sensor's reads and then forward that data on to subscribers in the form of real-time notifications.

The Benefits of Farmsoft Post Harvest
Farmsoft Post Harvest’s real-time sensor detects ethylene levels down to Parts Per
Billion (PPB), allowing cool store operators to:

Accurately Forecast
Atmospheric readings that measure down to the Parts Per Billion range allow for accurate forecasting across all forms of fresh produce. This ensures that you can optimise your supplies, sending them out on time, every-time.

Most accurate ripeness/ethylene detection system in the world
Measurements down to Parts Per Billion range to give long-term warnings
Real-time alerts of changes within the storage atmosphere

Real-Time Warnings
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and over-ripened produce take less than 2 hours to have irreversible effects on the surrounding batch. Farmsoft Post Harvest’s Environmental Sensor now provides cool room operators with an informed window of opportunity to act upon, proactively stopping large losses in product.

24/7 measuring - taking readings on a regular cycle
Alerts and Notifications can be sent via SMS, Email or Desktop
Actionable data and suggested responses provided
Real-time level reporting allows Farmsoft Post Harvest to know the perfect conditions and timing for your fresh produce shipments. Link your Farmsoft Post Harvest unit into your ethylene management systems in order to automate the entire process of caring for your stock.