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In an era where transparency and trust are paramount, the Australian cherry industry is leading the way by embracing automated traceability. This innovative approach, developed in partnership between Cherry Growers Australia and Agriculture Victoria, leverages RFID technology and GS1 standards to digitalise the supply chain. The result is a system that not only meets quality and safety requirements but also enhances supply chain transparency, fostering trust and confidence among consumers.

The Australian cherry industry has long been committed to meeting customer expectations through Quality Assurance (QA) standards. All commercial operations are certified to GFSI benchmarked standards, a testament to the industry’s dedication to quality and safety. However, the current paper-based traceability systems have proven to be inefficient, hindering rapid product tracing and performance evaluation.

Recognising this challenge, Cherry Growers Australia, in collaboration with Agriculture Victoria, has taken a significant step forward. They have spearheaded the development of an automated traceability system using RFID technology. This innovative system supports both digitising (paper to electronic) and the digitalisation (process automation) of production, packing, and distribution processes, ensuring compliance with QA standards while offering a more efficient solution to product tracing.

The automated traceability system captures product data from harvest to packaging, providing real-time visibility and identification throughout the supply chain. This level of traceability enhances supply chain transparency and trust, supporting market access and providing customers with choice and confidence in their selections.

At the heart of this system are GS1 standards and unique GS1 identification codes, which ensure effective product identification on a global scale. This standardised approach meets industry needs both domestically and in export markets, providing a reliable traceability solution that aligns with the values and priorities of customers regarding product production, environmental impact, societal considerations, and community engagement.

Key takeaways from this development include the advantages of digital traceability systems using globally interoperable standards and the power of collaboration between industry, government, and standards organisations. These partnerships are crucial in supporting enhanced product traceability and facilitating cross-border trade.

At this year’s GFSI conference, I’ll be moderating a lively panel discussion with our speaker, Patrick Ulloa, Export Development Manager at Cherry Growers Australia about this partnership. We’ll talk about the power of a digital traceability system when combined with GS1 standards. Patrick brings a wealth of experience in quality management, food safety, and postharvest. His extensive career has given him a broad perspective of quality and food safety systems at all levels of the supply chain. Patrick is currently working on Cherry Growers Australia’s trade development project, which includes the development and promotion of effective traceability systems within the industry.

The Australian cherry industry’s move towards automated traceability is a significant step towards enhancing supply chain transparency and trust. It is a testament to the power of innovation and collaboration in meeting customer expectations and industry standards. Please join us in this special conference session on Tuesday, April 9th, at 1:30-2:15 p.m. I hope to see you there!



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Cherry Growers Australia (CGA) is a dynamic, member-based organisation with a proud history spanning over 40 years. Representing the interests of more than 500 cherry growers across Australia, CGA provides its members with access to the best available resources, networks, and market information. With its national office in Hobart, Tasmania, CGA is the first port of call for industry information, contacts, news, and updates about the Australian cherry industry. For more information, please visit www.australiancherries.com.au



GS1 Australia is the Australian arm of the neutral, not-for-profit organisation that develops and maintains the most widely used global standards for efficient business communication. We are best known for the barcode, named by the BBC as one of ‘the 50 things that made the world economy’. GS1 standards and services improve the efficiency, safety and visibility of supply chains across physical and digital channels in 25 sectors. With local Member Organisations in 116 countries, 2 million user companies and 6 billion transactions every day, GS1 standards create a common language that supports systems and processes across the globe. For more information about GS1 Australia please visit www.gs1au.org

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