Local Grower Using Hi-Tech Program to Trace Produce
Wapato, WA - New information about a hi-tech program a local grower is using to trace its produce.
Tracing has become a big issue with the spinach scare last summer.
It all starts with a beep. The fruit in these bins can be scanned into the computer system at EW Brandt and Sons.
"My computer can trace every load on a truck," says Amy Eversole, Quality Control and Safety Manager at EW Brandt and Sons.
She says the current system allows them to trace any product related to a recall in about 30-seconds.
"After all the fears with spinach, we're in an industry that can't be without some form of tracing program," says Eversole.
Tracing programs have been used in packing houses for years, but it's not the norm for growers to have something this hi-tech in place.
"It's entering the discussion more and more," says Eversole.
Moving toward hi-tech tracing programs like this where with a single swipe, fruit can be traced down to a single box.
They can also figure where in an orchard it was picked from, and who handled the fruit.
Northwest Fruit Exporters says that growers are feeling pressure from buyers and consumers to have sophisticated tracing systems, but it's not a serious safety concern for most fruits that are grown in the Yakima Valley.
Most fruits grow on trees. The bigger concern lies with surface or root level produce.