Transparency in the supply chain is one of the principles of Brazilian agriculture. That is why practices such as traceability of fruits and vegetables are so important, both for the domestic market and for export products.
Crop traceability is the monitoring of food from the farms to the supermarket shelves, passing through distributors and wholesalers, for example. All steps are recorded in a label that can be consulted by the increasingly demanding consumers, international traders, and by state and federal inspection. This rule is mandatory in Brazil and is defined by a normative instruction from the Ministry of Agriculture and Health Surveillance Authorities.
There are platforms to make this complex procedure easier, like the Agritrace System, designed by the Brazilian Confederation of Agriculture and Livestock (CNA). In that system, the farmers are able to use what they call a “field notebook” to record data collected in every step of the production: from soil care, through phytosanitary control, and post-harvest practices. The document includes quantities of chemicals used in each crop, for example.
The farmers also keep a copy of the technical recommendations of use of every product, as well as its invoices and batches. All these data travels with the fruits and vegetables through every link of the production chain, so when the crop arrives at the supermarket, it is possible to know exactly not only where the product came from, but also how it was handled.
All of these procedures guarantee a clear supply chain, improving quality control systems and reducing different kinds of risks. In case of any issue, traceability makes it possible to quickly identify the source of the problem and solve it. The system also ensures that every crop meets quality requirements and certifications, making it easy to do any kind of inspection at any time.