Traceability of fresh fruit

The traceability systems aim at a) Food Security (approach of the European Union) b) Certification of Production Processes (approach of the United States). 

The traceability norms are a result of the demands of the consumers, that in the last 20 years gave greater importance to food security. The EU has the objective of offering Food Security, mainly because of the problems caused by the mad cow disease. The United States on the other hand, has implemented new norms due to the need to certify the production process to improve the consumption of beef that has lost importance because of the high demand for alternative meats, especially for chicken. However, consumers are the ones that demand more information about the products purchased. The consumers of greater purchasing power give priority to non economical facts as: a) the identification of the origin of the product, b) the superiority of the product among alternative and substitute  products, c) the safety of the product in terms of health (to avoid diseases, poisoning, etc.), d) the adequacy of the products for a balanced diet (levels of fat, proteins, vitamins, etc.) and e) the convenience of the product in terms of easiness and simplicity for the cooking of it. 

To be reliable a product must be certified and that guarantee has to appear in the label of the product. The mark represents to the consumer, in terms of quality, that the product is traced, since: a) it is explicitly descriptive, b) it is reliably controlled, c) it is systematically verified, and d) it can be penalized if it does not fulfill the specifications (consumer protection). In other words, the origin, the process and the destination are known. 

Traceability in citriculture           

Given the demands of the exportation markets, the producers and the health authorities from Argentina decided to implement a traceability system within the framework of the Program of Certification of Citrus for Exportation to the European Union and other markets. 

After many years of working on the planning, the work of exploitation and in the packaging houses, the system has been set. Every bin from the plantations has information about the treatment that the crop has received, every pallet that exits the packaging house has information about the content of the boxes or containers.

 From the packaging houses the information is directly transmitted to the Information System on Citrus Traceability from the NEA (SICT-NEA). The health authority (SENASA) can make controls in port because SICT-NEA is in the world-wide web.

 Last, the importers from Europe and other countries can know, without cost, who transported, exported, dispatched, produced; and from what farm and lot comes the citrus fruit.

 SICT-NEA is the first system of information of Argentina, and may be of many other countries, that allows us to know the process of a product from the farm to the final destination.

Argentine norms

International norms