Keywords: traceability, supply chain management, SCM, postharvest quality management, perishable foods, postharvest handling, heat transfer models, environmental monitoring, potential market quality, supply chain information, information exchange, container sea freights, food supply chains
Traceability in postharvest quality management
Traceability is now an expected component of most modern supply chains for perishable foods traded internationally. The ability to trace back and trace forward information associated with production and postharvest handling activities with specified lines of products to provide evidence of good practice has become increasingly important. There are opportunities to add significant value to these traceability requirements by applying other uses to the information that has to be captured. In this article, we present an overview of the concept of traceability and we use three case studies to: 1. discuss the use of traceability information in conjunction with heat transfer models and monitoring of environmental conditions to predict potential market quality; 2. demonstrate how improved traceability can facilitate better exchange of supply chain information between parties and add value to information provided back to growers; 3. show how improved transparency in the coolchain can be achieved for container sea freights.