Cherry Growers Australia (CGA) and Agriculture Victoria will partner to lead an innovative cherry supply chain traceability pilot for on-farm traceability and high-value export markets. The project is funded through Agriculture Victoria from its Transforming Traceability program.
The Australian cherry industry has a total value of $189 million and exports worth $79.5 million. At its peak, Victorian cherry growers exported almost 2,000 tonnes to over 30 countries annually at a value of $30.8 million.
Over 2 years from 2022 to 2024, this pilot will build and protect exports by developing automated and integrated traceability systems that track the product journey from on-farm harvest through to customer. These systems will have the ability to identify product back to a carton or consignment level.
This pilot program will be conducted through a large Victorian producer and exporter, CherryHill Orchards. CherryHill will integrate the developing hardware and software technologies into their supply chain to apply this leading traceability technology to their premium cherry brands.
While on-farm traceability is well developed in the cherry industry, it may be a paper-based system and usually ends when cherries enter export countries, preventing Australian producers from tracing their produce and leveraging the value of their brands.
The pilot will run within the Australian cherry industry and will deliver value for all Australian commodity sectors and international markets through:
- developing technology for the pilot with the potential for future use across the cherry industry
- development and use of traceability technology with flexibility to be used in many markets
- implementation of international GS1 standards
- a communication program
- a public report accessible to all.
Hugh Molloy, Treasurer of Cherry Growers Australia, welcomed the project and said traceability was pivotal for reinforcing competitiveness in international markets.
“Traceability will enable Australian cherry growers to underpin the provenance, authenticity, food safety and other biosecurity certifications to importing countries, buyers and consumers”. The traceability information captured in this pilot will underpin the integrity of Australian production systems, enhance our competitiveness in international and domestic markets and facilitate the sharing of our stories from orchard to plate”.
CherryHill Orchards, a large Australian producer and exporter, will develop on-farm traceability and producer-to-customer traceability for use within export and domestic markets.
Stephen Riseborough, Director, CherryHill Orchards, said: “Traceability technology when developed and implemented well across food and produce industries, will help grow and protect the reputation of our region and the broader value of “Brand Australia”. Cherryhill is excited to be involved in the traceability pilot and to help play a part in our future regional success story.”
Technology systems include RFID scanners supplied by RAMP and software from Dialog Information Technology.GS1 traceability standards will be incorporated into the pilot, enhancing the international compatibility of these supply chains for global exports and domestic markets.
Marcel Sieira, Chief Customer Officer for GS1 Australia said: “GS1 Australia is always pleased to support traceability projects by providing advice on GS1 standards and labelling options. GS1 Australia offers a wide range of services to support members, their industry associations and trading partners to implement the GS1 system. GS1 standards enable organisations to identify, capture and share information smoothly, creating a common language that underpins systems and processes all over the world.”
RAMP will provide inventory management software and RFID technology to enhance on-farm traceability.
Pete Reinke, CEO for RAMP said: “Ramp is delighted to be part of the technology solution for traceability for the internationally acclaimed Australian Cherry Industry. Leveraging our inventory management software and RFID expertise we help provide Australia’s premium cherry producer, CherryHill Orchards, peace of mind in relation to the authenticity of their products through the global supply chain to protect their esteemed brand. CherryHill customers will be assured of purchasing produce of the best quality as the movements of product is tracked from the orchard at harvest time.”
Dialog Information Technology is a technology provider for the project. Dialog Information Technology is linking up CherryHill’s ERP fresh produce system with two technologies; RFID farm and packing scanning and GS1 Digital Link for supply chain tracking and consumer engagement.
Steve Sharp, Account Manager for Dialog Information Technology said: “As the food industry heads toward a more transparent future, technology will be a key factor in automating and collecting traceability data. The good news is this leading technology is available now and will be demonstrated in this exciting initiative.”
The Victorian Government’s Transforming Traceability program is a $11.7 million commitment to invest in the state’s traceability systems across the agri-food supply chain.