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Bayer Food Chain Partnership:

"Traceability is an important sales argument"

How can traceability be guaranteed along the entire value chain? This was one of the hottest topics at the German Fruit & Vegetable Congress (Deutscher Obst & Gemüse Kongress) in Düsseldorf, Germany. Bayer Food Chain Partnership showcased its initiative and took advantage of the opportunity to have many valuable discussions.

The German Fruit & Vegetable Congress took place this year for the sixth time, with more than 500 members along the value chain participating. “This event was a great opportunity for us to have direct contact with our customers and exchange ideas about sustainable agriculture and how food gets safely from the fields to our plates,” says Birte Tschentke, Global Key Relations Manager at Bayer.

Making the entire value chain more transparent was a topic that was much discussed at the congress. “Traceability has become an important sales argument,” says Tschentke. Consumers need to be able to trust that the labeled information on fruits and vegetables is correct, for instance, in terms of origin and food safety. “Not an easy task,” says Kerstin Uhlig from the standard owner GLOBALG.A.P. in her presentation at the congress. “Along the value chain, the products can get mixed up and if there’s not a proper chain of custody implemented, it’s not always transparent where products come from.” Bayer Food Chain Partnership is helping to find a solution to this challenge. “We support smallholders overseas with their documentation through projects such as the traceability passport in India,” says Tschentke.

In the future, modern technologies might be able to trace exactly where a product has come from. GlobalGAP and Metro, both members of the Bayer Food Chain Partnership, presented their pilot project together with the Austrian start-up Imprint Analytics. The project identifies the origin of products using an isotopic model. This procedure pinpoints which region the tested fruit or vegetable comes from – with an accuracy of five kilometers.

“Participating in the German Fruit & Vegetable Congress enriched our Food Chain Partnership initiative,” says Tschentke. “We look forward to meeting more of our customers at the Fruit Logistica in February.”

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