The rise of locavores (those who choose to eat locally grown/produced food) and the slow food movement are responses to the old adage “we are what we eat.” A vital ingredient in the new wave of food consciousness is control: we want to know about what we consume. Global food company Dole decided to respond to the challenge by establishing a traceability programme using state of the art global positioning RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology to trace products from the field to retail.
Dole’s traceability process tracks products at the farm, in processing plants, in transit, and at retail outlets. All Dole food shipments – including boxes and containers used in transport – are now labelled and coded so that the product, batch, country of origin and even producer farm can be identified at any time. For Dole’s organic bananas, customers can enter the three-digit code on the fruit’s sticker at the Dole Organic website to learn more about where they came from.
“Dole is committed to transparency and open communication,” says Richard Dahl, president of Dole Food.
An effective and trusted traceability system means a company can promote its responsible processes to its customers, and deal quickly and effectively if anything goes wrong.
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