Traceability of fresh vegetables from farm to table

The Ruralia Institute has completed a study on the tracing practices employed by primary producers of fresh vegetables and the actual traceability of fresh vegetables sold in retail stores. The report includes suggestions for improving traceability practices.

The study found some deficiencies in product safety in cases where suppliers had no clear traceability system. Many of the inspected retail stores had not agreed on a clear product recall plan with suppliers. A recall plan would provide clear instructions for product withdrawal in an emergency. An inspection of product reception also showed deficiencies, specifically with delivery from local suppliers. The study also revealed that retailers cannot adequately identify the quality systems employed by primary producers. Improved knowledge of quality systems would promote the product safety expertise of the entire supply chain.

Sari Iivonen, Pekka Siiskonen, Anne Piirainen and Riina Tuominen: Traceability of Fresh Vegetables in the Supply Chain from Farms to Retailers (Tuorekasvisten jäljitettävyyden toteutuminen tilalta vähittäiskaupan asiakkaille) University of Helsinki, Ruralia Institute, Reports 169