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South West agricultural technology company Agrantec calls for ‘active’ food labelling

29 September 2016  •  Author(s): New Food

While welcoming the recent call by the NFU for the introduction of mandatory origin labelling of meat and milk in processed products, Bristol-based agricultural software specialist, Agrantec, believes that much more can be done by adopting an ‘active labelling’ approach to food tracking.

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Agrantec’s Managing Director, Martin Coates said, “While schemes such as the Red Tractor logo offer some measure of reassurance to consumers, they are very much ‘passive’ labels. They show that you have joined a scheme that has set some basic standards and that requires a producer audit once in a while. But there is no guarantee that every single product meets the standard, and in fact some producers fail audits every year.”

In contrast, ‘active’ labelling allows consumers to trace produce back through the supply chain, step-by-step, for every single product. They can see each step, each link in the supply chain – even the storage temperature records if those are available. This means consumers can check if produce is really what it claims to be, right back to source. Agrantec’s ‘active’ labelling also has the advantage of reducing the workload for the producer, whilst creating additional value for the product.

Agrantec’s NotaZone software offers the sort of solution that takes food labelling beyond that which the NFU is calling for and makes it simple to produce labels that include a QR code that can be scanned by a smartphone. This enables the tracking of every stage of the production process between farm and fork – from source animal, farm or field. Food producers and distributors save time and money and consumers can trace the origin of the food on their supermarket shelves.

“The NotaZone platform streamlines and automates the often complex administration that food legislation requires”, comments Martin Coates.

“It allows each business in the supply chain to collaborate in their efforts to produce quality, sustainable food in a competitive global marketplace.

“From the consumer perspective, a simple Follow This Food QR code can immediately trace the product back through the supply chain to the source producer, and even to an individual animal. Active labelling is the labelling system we need in the 21st century.”

‘Active’ labelling allows consumers to trace produce back through the supply chain, step-by-step, for every single product…

Agrantec is already working with specialist producers in the South West and has just concluded a two-year sponsorship package for the Taste of the West Awards.

Martin Coates said, “The South West produces some of the best quality food in the country and I am delighted to support the great promotional work done by Taste of the West, both this year and into 2017.”

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