Fresh produce "fingerprints" could help traceability

Fresh produce "fingerprints" could help traceability


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FOLLOWED: With consumers wanting to know more about where their food comes from, traceability is becoming increasingly important, particularly for exporters.

FOLLOWED: With consumers wanting to know more about where their food comes from, traceability is becoming increasingly important, particularly for exporters.

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With consumers wanting increased assurances of quality from their food suppliers, traceability needs to lift.

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WITH food fraud and the relabelling of imported produce rife within places such as China, Oritain could have a solution for horticulture exporters.

The business specialises in scientific traceability which helps with proving origins and in turn, protecting reputations.

Oritain business development manager for Australia, Sandon Adams, delivered information on the business at the global innovations session at Hort Connections 2018.

Oritain Global was formed in 2008 and holds the aim of being the world's most trusted company at scientifically verifying origin.

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While it doesn't necessarily own the technology which it uses, it uses it to a high degree across many different industries.

Basically, it works off identifying trace elements and isotopes within a product that indicates the origin, a process that is more detailed than the traditional "node to node" tracking system.

It is similar to testing a product for is very own origin fingerprint.

SECURE: Oritain business development manager for Australia, Sandon Adams, says investing in a traceability system helps to protect a company's brand.

SECURE: Oritain business development manager for Australia, Sandon Adams, says investing in a traceability system helps to protect a company's brand.

"You can take the product from anywhere in the supply chain and be able to prove its origin then and there," Mr Adams said.

"We create unique profiles for our clients' products and once this has been completed, we can audit their product at any stage in the supply chain.

"We are not just a test to detect to see if something is what it says it is, but we quickly become a deterrent in the supply chain. We make ourselves very visible."

He likened it to random breath testing.

"You can't be everywhere but by doing it randomly, you can definitely change the behaviour of the people doing it (re-labelling fresh produce)," he said.

Mr Adams said there was visible evidence of Australian fresh produce brands being swapped for cheaper and lesser quality fruit or vegetables in Asian countries.

"Counterfeit is considered normal in China. It's not frowned upon. It's completely normal," he said.

"The issue for you is that your brand is out there with inferior quality product in it."

He said it wasn't just about policing mislabelled produce but was more about creating consumer confidence.

Consumers are expecting more, particularly in the area of safety and quality with food, according to Mr Adams.

For the producer, this means developing brands and innovating to give more value with customer engagement.

It also means maintaining more control and care of the supply chain which helps to protect a brand.

"There is an element of being proactive and transparent to maintain those brands," Mr Adams said. 

The issue for you is that your brand is out there with inferior quality product in it. - Sandon Adams, Oritain

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