Brazilian smartphones track fruit back to the farm

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Brazilian smartphones track fruit back to the farm

At select supermarkets, Brazilian shoppers can now trace the origin of their fruits and vegetables back to the producer with the help of their smartphones, reported.Mercado_municipal_de_Sao_Paulo,Brasil._36

The initiative, sponsored by the Ministry of Agriculture and the Brazilian Supermarket Association (Abras), tracks various phases of transport and food safety efforts using QR codes that can be read through user cell phones.

Certain supermarkets have also installed totems where shoppers can access more detailed information on specific products.

The information provided intends to enforce good agricultural practices, including accountability for pesticide use and other practices along the supply chain.

The system currently includes 20 supermarket chains and 230 distributors that supply shoppers in Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Norte. Efforts are being made to expand the traceability initiative into Pará and Maranhão.

In the Federal District, farmers may contact Abras for participation.

Abras Brasilia director Marcelo Marinho explained the value of educating both consumers and producers on the utility of supply chain traceability.

"It is important to bring all producers together to do training on good practices, which will be of benefit to consumers through this program," Marinho said in the Brazilian publication.

"We are going to understand what [the producer's] business is like, how it is structured, what standard we stipulate, if he is within that standard and give a timeframe for adoption."

Agricultural development secretary Caio Rocha said the main benefit of these traceability efforts will be for the consumer.

"People will have important information about the origin and production process of their food, bringing home a food safety guarantee with knowledge of the origin and production process," Rocha said.

"Our rural producers benefit, since buyers' markets increasingly demand an origin guarantee. Our role now is to train producers and give technical steps for supermarkets to have a better consumer guarantee."

Related story: Step-by-step traceability builds safety into Brazilian food chain

Photo: Luis Coelho via Wikimedia Commons

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