Cocoa Traceability – Importance Explained
Knowing the roots of any product has become an essential part of enhancing the reliability factor in today’s market. This is why traceability becomes a very important and relevant standard these days for all kinds of products. Traceability is basically the ability to trace back a product to its roots and in the process verifying all the processes on the production and distribution front.
Traceability concepts have to be taken into consideration in a big way today. Be it a food industry or a manufacturing industry, traceback mechanisms are treated as a mandate of utmost importance. As defined by Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Traceability means “The ability to track any food, feed, food-producing animal or substance that will be used for consumption, through all stages of production, processing, and distribution”. Traceability enables us to achieve all information from primary production to packaging to the distribution network to retailers to consumers. Traceability becomes very important (especially in the food industry) because it aids in risk reduction. Once a risk has been identified, owners can trace the risk back to its source in order to isolate the problem without any discrepancies in the production.
Until recently, traceability was achieved purely through documentation wherein each step in the lifecycle of a product will be documented and passed on. With advancing technology, this tedious practice of documentation of stages is being replaced by a lot of highly evolved software that can manage the entire traceability process much more efficiently and effectively.
Even though over the years traceability has been a boon to the food industry, we could say that in a way, it’s still at infancy in the cocoa industry.
The cocoa industry is one that has a lot of processes and various complex steps involved from its cradle to grave period. Over the years, cocoa farming has been continuously trying to focus on the objective of being sustainable and it is now a common saying that there is no sustainability without traceability. A lot has been happening in this space lately. Many are trying to bring in innovation to the entire process and make it as hassle-free as possible.
Despite the efforts, there isn’t many single stop reliable software available that ensure a reliable, systematic, and constructive traceability experience. Cocoa buyers across the globe are now looking into this space very intently. They are insisting on knowing whether the cocoa they purchase comes from a responsible and meticulous source. Traceability provides a certain level of transparency to the whole process which loops them close to the sustainability goals.
In recent times, there has also been a lot of efforts by companies and brands to bring in the traceability factor to their businesses. Coming to the case of beans, it was very recently that Starbucks came up with a new digital traceability tool to build stories around the bean-to-cup journey of Coffee. Post-launch, however, it received a lot of criticism about how it is not actually tracing the coffee back to the actual farmers who toiled very hard to grow, harvest, and process it. Many claim that it thus lacks one of the most important motives behind traceability, which is transparency.
A proper traceability software product lets you trace your Cocoa right to its birth traversing through all the processes en route. Knowing where your Cocoa came from and learning about the social and environmental impact it has had during its journey can help you add value to the entire process and to share the story with your clients in turn building the reliability and credibility factors. Detailed understanding of the cocoa supply chain also makes it easier to identify weak points better and re-work on them to enhance quality and productivity.
If you need a one-stop authentic solution for your cocoa traceability process, talk to our team of experts at Farm Logics, a Software Product and Consulting based company based in Kochi, Kerala (India).