Fresh produce quality control app

Fresh produce quality control has never been easier for packer, processors and wholesalers of fruit & vegetable, seafood, poultry, meats, flowers, herbs, seeds, hope and other foods that need fresh produce quality control.

Flexible fresh produce quality control software can be used to reduce the incorrect categorization of fresh produce as waste, leading to higher pack shed profits and more consistent quality, with improved customer satisfaction. FarmSoft manages fresh produce businesses from end to end, providing a comprehensive fresh produce business management solution.

Reduce fresh produce losses by Quality Analysis analysis of fresh produce that has been discarded as “waste” to ensure waste product is  within the specification of waste.

quality control fresh produce
Quality control for fresh produce

Quality control app for fresh produce

Manage customer complaints for fresh produce: track comments, customer feedback, photos, and resolutions provided when a complaint is made. Trace complaints back to the supplier or your own block/crop/patch/batch.

Supplier quality management: monitor and manage quality from each supplier, receive supplier quality alerts, track quality issues back to suppliers batches, plots, and blocks.

Configure unlimited quality control programs, including specific programs for produce, variety, customer, or finished product. Flexibly add your own fields and options to tests as required.

Quality control tests can be for almost anything, such as testing incoming produce, outgoing produce, pre pack, pre graded produce, factory cleanliness test, employee performance, task quality control etc. You can define the subject (thing) that you are testing as virtually anything

Each quality control test can be a pass/fail, or value range style test (ie: where results must be within the range of two numbers, or above or below a number), weighted score, or percent of sample

Automatically send quality control alerts to selected employees if a specific test fails or passes (a copy of the entire test results are sent with the email in a PDF)

Attach photos to the test (via your tablet, smartphone, or PC) and to the criteria for instruction

Quality tests can give users suggested “corrective actions” when there is a fresh produce quality failure.

Manually put produce on hold for further inspection

Each quality control program can be configured to have unlimited categories, each category can have unlimited tests (criteria)

Set the number of tests to make the entire test program fail

Set individual fresh produce quality tests to make an entire test program fail

Set the number of tests in a Category to make the entire test program fail

Configure unlimited “classes” and “features” that can be assigned to inventory

Users can click on images for close ups and open documents attached to the test criteria, this is used to ensure quality officers always have access to the correct documentation for their work.

quality control fruit vegetable
Quality control for fresh produce

Capture fresh produce quality control from your cell, tablet, rugged device, or PC/Mac

Fresh produce quality control is programmed to support your customers chosen quality standards, or configured to match your internal quality control program

Quality tests can be performed on fresh produce from suppliers to ensure supply consistency

Easily attach photos (and any other documents) to your quality control tests to prove quality to both customers and suppliers.

Fresh produce quality control for a rapidly changing fresh produce retail landscape

Farmsoft has over 19 years experience supporting and promoting the fresh produce industry, working with the entire value chain, from seed producers, grower to consumer, providing leadership on pan-produce issues. One of the key challenges in the industry has been in providing affordable solutions that easily interconnect growers to manufacturers and manufacturers to grocers so that a product can be easily tracked throughout the entire supply chain and not just within an individual company's' walls,” said Mike Fein, managing partner of Clarkston Consulting

Farmsoft is the leading supplier of cutting edge container labels that exceed Produce Traceability Initiative (PTI) guidelines. Adoption of PTI which currently comprises major outlets like Walmart, Whole Foods, IFCO, and Tosca will be expanding in the coming years. We work in lockstep with the Produce Marketing Association, Canadian Produce Marketing Association, GS1 US, and United Fresh Produce Association to design our PTI label solutions. As momentum for PTI spreads, SI Solutions can be a key partner to your supply chain adoption of this standard.

Recalls not only protect consumers from getting ill, they also protect companies and the industry from economic losses and losses of public confidence. A successful recall requires a company to plan ahead so that they can act fast, communicate effectively, and perform a post-recall assessment. For these reasons, it is important to have a recall plan in place before a recall is needed.

The second greenhouse opened in 2013 after a developer contacted Lufa Farms with the opportunity to incorporate a rooftop structure as a new building was being constructed. Lufa worked closely with KUBO, a Dutch greenhouse design and construction firm, to engineer the space.

Farmsoft are positioning themselves as the consolidator on a single fresh produce blockchain, forging a partnership with some of the leaders in food retail globally; Nestlé, Walmart, Costco, McCormick and Co., Tyson Foods and Golden State Foods, some leading fresh produce suppliers; Dole and Kroger, and working with universities such as Tsinghua University, Fordham University, University of Arkansas, University at Buffalo and University of British Columbia to fund research grants.  Although it remains to be seen why anyone would allow one very large company to monopolize a fresh produce blockchain for for profit; when blockchain is supposed to be decentralized.  

Fresh produce quality control app provides an industrial platform to enforce strict packhouse quality control & traceability both up and down the supply chain for fruit packers, processors, and food manufacturing.

Packhouse quality control software for better traceability, compliance, specification adherence, and reduced waste. Easy inventory control and management.

FarmSoft packhouse quality control software is easy to use and flexible enough for every fruit and vegetable, and food manufacturing enterprise. FarmSoft guides users through the food handling process to ensure maximum quality and food safety is always being maintained. The FarmSoft packhouse quality control software solution is designed particularly for food processing and food manufacturing around fresh produce, fruit, vegetables, hops, herbs, coffee, another other fresh produce. Dried, cured, juiced, pulped, or even made into value added consumer goods. Click here to download packhouse quality control software specifications.

Flexible packhouse quality control software for quality control officers.
Quality control officers can easily capture photo and documents and link them to quality tests. This information can be very useful when dealing with suppliers that incorrectly state the quality of fresh produce or raw materials. FarmSoft packhouse quality control software also allows up to five quality control management staff to be sent emails containing the quality results of any tests that fail. This quality alert system allows management to make corrective actions or manufacturing decisions rapidly and increases communication between quality control officers and management.

Packhouse quality control software for progressive food manufacturing enterprises.

FarmSoft food food quality control software is used by award winning food manufacturers and processors world wide. The FarmSoft packhouse quality control software delivers a comprehensive solution that starts from ordering of raw materials such as fresh produce, ingredients, or additives, and ends after sale. This holistic business management approach helps food manufacturers deliver maximum efficiency and traceability while reducing waste and financial risk exposure due to reduced batch sizes, and smaller recall windows.

FarmSoft packhouse quality control software can help staff perform the correct tasks at the correct time. Reducing waste, and increasing traceability and food safety.
packhouse quality control software
The FarmSoft packhouse quality control software brings together all parts of the fresh produce packing and processing enterprise into one easy to manage solution. Management can monitor the progress of order fulfillment and create batch orders to fill orders with specific quality and specifications of produce.

Administration has all the documentation presented to them automatically when orders are ready to be shipped – never forget to include a document with a shipment again. Quality control standardizes quality tests, ensuring consistent and accurate classification of fresh produce, reducing incorrect categorization and presenting the opportunity to improve fresh produce handling processes. Pack shed / packhouse / factory managers can direct, order, and monitor work progress in real time, over multiple packhouses or sites if necessary.

Analyze the efficiency of the packhouse using hundreds of reports that present KPI’s and other handy bench marking measurements to help improve pack shed performance and efficiency.

FarmSoft packhouse quality control software captures the labor in the pack shed. Labor can be captured using time-sheets, or by scanning bar codes during the packing process.

Enhance your fresh produce quality control today with farmsoft quality control.

The philosophies of quality control are integrated into every facet of the FarmSoft packhouse quality control software.
FarmSoft is a comprehensive and highly flexible packhouse quality control software solution for food manufacturers and fresh produce processors and packers. Configure quality control tests for specific clients, products, suppliers, employees, and more. Configure quality control tests for simple pass or fail tests, weighted score tests where each failure adds or deducts a value from the total score, percentage of sampled defect, and range value tests. Unlimited categories can be configured to make large tests more user friendly.

Comprehensive packhouse quality control software.

The FarmSoft suite is an integrated solution for fresh produce processors and food manufactures to manage every part of business operations (excluding finance and payroll – although FarmSoft can be integrated with external accounting and finance packages). Including inventory, processing and manufacturing, traceability, cost control, labor cost capture and monitoring, best manufacturing practice / good manufacturing practices, FarmSoft delivers comprehensive business management from the ordering of raw materials, through the entire quality, inventory, manufacturing, sales orders, sales, and dispatch processes. Talk to one of our consultants today to learn more.

Quality control for a rapidly changing fresh produce retail landscape

Farmsoft has over 19 years experience supporting and promoting the fresh produce industry, working with the entire value chain, from seed producers, grower to consumer, providing leadership on pan-produce issues. One of the key challenges in the industry has been in providing affordable solutions that easily interconnect growers to manufacturers and manufacturers to grocers so that a product can be easily tracked throughout the entire supply chain.

Quality control for fresh produce
Fresh produce quality control (fruit & vegetable)

FarmSoft combines all fresh produce traceability processes into one business management solution, ensuring that the correct quality control, compliance, and operational tasks are performed at the correct time. This guarantees higher quality compliance and lower waste and non conformity issues.

Quality control – fruit quality control
Comprehensive and flexible quality control can be configured to cater for QMS, international standards, internal, and customer QC specifications. Quality control tests can use score weighting, value ranges, pass / fail, percentage of count/weight, quantity of criteria fail, quantity of category fail, quantity of all category fails, and more. Quality tests are standardized and ensure consistent testing and product quality. Quality tests can be performed on any ‘subject’ as defined by your configuration, such as raw produce, finished produce, incoming pallets, outgoing pallets, shipping container, and more. Quality alerts can be automatically sent to quality managers when specific tests fail or conditions are met. Perform quality control on a tablet, smartphone, PC or Mac.

Fresh produce inventory management – fruit quality control
From the deliver of fresh produce, storage, purchase orders for fresh produce, delivery receipts for fresh produce from external farms, inventory traceability, FIFO management, expiring inventory management, inventory ripening, mobile inventory management, inventory labeling, inventory stock takes, inventory reporting, pallet control and pallet management – FarmSoft has you covered!

Perform fresh produce recall up and down the supply chain – fruit quality control
FarmSoft allows recalls based on invoice, purchase order, customer reference, delivery date, delivery docket, sales order, and more. No more recording redundant data on multiple logs or spreadsheet. Instant recall makes audits easy and fast and reduces quality and standard compliance costs. You can also record multiple levels of traceability data, for example, your suppliers supplier can be documented, along with batch and lot codes for their produce. This data can make comprehensive product recalls rapid and instant. Multi-level traceability is not support by many competitor fresh produce solutions.

Cascading traceability – fresh produce quality control

fresh produce quality system
QMS and quality control for fruit and vegetable, processing, food manufacturing
Is a system whereby fresh produce is processed in a a batch, and may in turn be used in other batches, and those batches may in turn be used in additional batches and so on. This is a common practice when processing fresh produce where the harvest needs to be mixed together, is graded or sorted, then packed with other produce at a later time. This practice is also common in food processing and value adding processes, where an input to one batch may in turn be used in many other batches. FarmSoft handles this complex traceability challenge with ease and provides reliable and comprehensive cascading traceability management. Many competitor fresh produce solutions do not support cascading traceability.

Fresh Produce Labeling – fruit quality control
FarmSoft provides many options for fresh produce labeling including many international and customer standards such as HACCP, ISO, GlobalGAP, EuroGAP, CanGAP, AsiaGAP, Tesco’s, Aldi, Walmart, Loblaw, USDA, Woolworth’s, Coles, and more.

Packing management – fruit quality control
FarmSoft manages the entire packing process, guiding employees through any tasks (eg: washing, grading, sorting, QC, value adding processes) and capturing the batch processing/packing/manufacturing costs. During this process the packing materials are also tracked to ensure complete traceability of all batch inputs.

Order and contract management – fruit quality control
Record customer contracts and sales orders. You can assign these to Batch Orders to schedule production for specific outputs and product specifications. Outputs can be easily tracked to the customer who ordered them. Automatically manage the balance of customer orders.

Sales and dispatch – fruit & food quality control

FarmSoft caters for many different dispatch processes including, manual, pick sheet based, mobile based, mobile bar code scanning and more… Full shipping container management is included. Invoices of various formats can also be generated (these can be shared with your accounting solution as required). A dispatch monitoring screen can be used to monitor the progress of orders.

Customer documentation – Quality control for fruit & vegetable, food, flowers, animal feed, and more...
Associate specific documentation with each customer, when orders are ready for shipping FarmSoft will present the correct documentation for printing (or emailing).

Increase customer confidence – fruit quality control
When your customers know you have a state of the art fruit quality control system, their confidence and perceived value in your fresh produce is increased. This is an important part of any supplier to customer relationship.

Color and quality control in fresh produce: Traditional solutions vs AI

Fresh fruits and vegetables are a critical ingredient for food companies that make anything from juices and smoothies through to sauces, pastes, and pulps.

The characteristics of fresh produce differ by variety and season, unlike with many other raw materials. This variability creates challenges in the manufacturing process, and in delivering the quality customers expect in finished products.

Measuring quality in fresh produce

Defining fresh produce quality parameters and their measurement for acceptance is more complex compared to other raw ingredients. Uniformity, ripeness, color, gloss, and absence of defects are just some of the components of quality. Evaluating them can be subjective — in other words, done manually — or objective, when handled by a machine.

But the visual appearance of fruits and vegetables is universally accepted as the first quality determinant.

Color is an important parameter because it directly affects the appearance of the final product. If there is color variance in fresh produce, corrective actions in the manufacturing process become necessary to ensure the perception of quality in the final product.

In short, failure to meet fresh produce color criteria can adversely impact cost and quality in the finished product. This applies to a wide range of food industry items.

Obstacles to identifying color

The biggest challenge to determining the color of fresh produce is heterogeneity. A fruit or vegetable may not be one color, but different shades of the same color. A single piece could also feature different colors blending into one another.

A good example here is tomatoes. A single tomato may have red, orange, and light green colors and still be acceptable as an ingredient. Another example is apples, which may have different shades of red depending on variety.

Traditional fresh produce quality solutions

The color heterogeneity in fresh produce makes it difficult to set and measure acceptable criteria. Right now, the food industry utilizes a battery of equipment to measure color in both ingredients and finished products. Most often, this equipment includes colorimeters, spectrophotometers, and image-based color identification machines.

Though made for myriad food (and non-food) ingredients, these traditional instruments mostly fail in measuring acceptable color criteria for fresh produce:

  • Colorimeters are best for gauging homogeneous solutions or solids. When faced with heterogeneous solids they, at best, can indicate an average color. This often results in inaccurate identification.
  • Spectrophotometers are most appropriate for input in a liquid medium and for homogeneous products.
  • Equipment that processes high-quality images in a controlled environment appears to be the ideal choice, at least among existing solutions for fresh produce. These go beyond average color measurement to offer percentage composition of colors.

The latter can detect, for example, that a displayed tomato is 80% red and 20% light green. But when shown five separate tomatoes together, where one appears light green and the other four red, such instruments fail. Since the combined composition is still 80% red and 20% light green, this will often lead to the one light green tomato getting accepted erroneously.

Innovative fresh produce quality control solutions

In the last few years, artificial intelligence (AI) has widened the lead it has over all prior technologies for accuracy in visual identification of fresh produce. It has also surprised us in the plethora of tasks it excels at within image processing. It has beaten previous benchmarks in object detection, classification, and segmentation.

To explain these three tasks, let’s take the example of tomatoes again:

  • Object detection is the ability to identify different objects in an image. In this case, all the individual tomatoes that are presented.
  • Classification is the ability to organize an image into one of many classes. In this instance, the classification of a tomato can be 80% red, 30% red, and so on.
  • Segmentation is the ability to distinguish the composition of an image into the different features that are present in it. For example, the tomatoes, the table they are on, the piece of paper next to them, and so on.

Two factors enable AI to achieve excellence in these tasks. First, a large dataset of images labeled to meet acceptable and non-acceptable parameters of fresh produce. Second, sizable amounts of computing ability in the form of powerful microprocessors.

In a nutshell, AI fixes the issues riddling color for fresh produce accurately and much better than ever before.

Advantages of AI

AI-based solutions have the unerring ability to eliminate color issues in a heterogeneous scenario and color acceptance criteria for almost all fresh produce. But that’s not the sole benefit. It can do so in a wide variety of lighting conditions.

Covid-19 has caused plenty of volatility in fresh produce prices. Read more here

On top of that, with cloud processing, the solution becomes highly portable. It means one can conveniently access this powerful technology through a handheld device like a mobile phone.

In addition, cloud computing allows easy integration of the solution with the rest of the user’s applications, such as email and messaging. These qualities make AI-based solutions far lighter on a user’s pocket than the bulky equipment traditionally used for color identification.

Fresh produce quality control

Until fairly recently, you’d be forgiven for thinking that fresh fruit and vegetable quality control was one of those things that never fundamentally changed. While the processes might have been updated from time to time, the underlying methodology stayed the same – look at produce with the human eye and note down the quality. So you may be surprised to discover that for the first time, real change is underway and stakeholders across the supply chain are internalizing the need for a different approach to fresh produce QC.

To understand this change, and to get a visual understanding of the way that fresh fruit and vegetable quality control (QC) has evolved over the years, let’s use stages, from 1-5. Remember, while each new stage brings with it a new QC method, it doesn’t necessarily eliminate the ones that came before. However, each new method adds to the efficiency and productivity of fresh produce QC, and can be used to complement or improve the others.

Stage One: Tracking Data about Fresh Produce Attributes (Quality and Other)

During this stage, a shift was made between immediate, on-the-spot decision making about the quality of fresh fruit and vegetables and the need to track and collect this information over the long-term. Historically, stakeholders might simply have marked a fruit or vegetable as a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ based on eyesight alone. But from this point, they realized the importance of recording this data – although they might not have called it that! This was done manually and sometimes written down with pen and paper, or stored in files. A more advanced version of this stage would be when this information was categorized by produce, type or year.

Stage Two: Storing the Data on a Computer

As computers became ubiquitous for any and all industries, manual data was slowly moved to e-formats such as online spreadsheets or in-house systems. Third-party technology often filled a gap, offering the ability to log additional attributes for the produce such as the color of the fruit or the size of a specific vegetable. This stage was still completely manual in terms of data collection, which means it suffered from the same lack of accuracy and consistency as simply writing the information down in a notebook. However, for the first time, this data could be easily shared, for example by email.

Stage Three: Data on the Move

Think about how websites and technology are now often built ‘mobile-first’ and you won’t be surprised to hear that the third stage of fruit and vegetable quality control centers around mobile devices. By allowing staff to manually input information using these devices, data could be a lot more immediate and accessible. However, while this was one step in the right direction in terms of quality control data storage, the industry was still unable to scale the hurdle of inaccurate or inconsistent data because of the reliance on manual and subjective data collection and input.

The time had come for the quality control of fresh fruits and vegetables to take a leap into automation!

Why is this So Important?

You might be saying, “Hey, the fresh produce industry has been getting along fine with manually collected information up until now. Why the need to digitize further?”

Well, to answer this question, let’s break down the three main challenges that arise as a result of manually collected data.

  1. Inaccurate information: Subjectivity leads to a lack of consistency, and simply ‘eyeballing’ a product means that each and every person has a different point of view about the quality of the produce at hand. Surely, with the advancements made in today’s fast-paced technologically-driven world, we could achieve more and see more than the human eye could see alone?
  2. Prohibitively high costs: Did you know that the annual cost of fresh produce QC is as much as $7.5 billion? A lot of this is a wasted cost, sunk into labor and resources that complete quality control in a lab environment, which is both slow and expensive. If an application could be built to measure the QC of fruits and vegetables on the spot, imagine the cost savings for every stage of the supply chain.
  3. Excessive waste: As the world becomes more socially conscious, it’s vital to address the up to 45% of fresh produce that is wasted annually, all around the globe. Quality mismatches between buyers and sellers lead to wasted produce, and manual quality control methods often lead to perfectly good food being thrown away. A consistent method for fresh produce quality control would eliminate this problem.

There is no wonder that the industry chatter is all about making a change to something objective, consistent, and cost-effective. Enter, Stage Four.

Stage Four: Automatic Data Collection. Yes Please!

This is exactly where Clarifruit comes in, offering an integrated, end-to-end platform for fresh produce quality control. Clarifruit’s platform uses computer vision technology to automatically collect information about external attributes such as color, size, stem color or any defects, and easily integrates with other third-party solutions that give insight about internal attributes such as degrees Brix or firmness. By taking away the subjective element to fresh produce QC, you work to reduce all the problems we looked at above.
But that’s not all! Leveraging this technology, Clarifruit has also found a way to support businesses with their digital transformation by welcoming in a whole new stage of quality control.

Stage Five: Analyzing Fresh Produce Quality Control Trends and Patterns Using Big Data

Clarifruit’s solution automatically transmits collected data from the mobile app through to a centralized dashboard, giving the same level of insight to the entire supply chain. This starts from growers and includes marketing companies, wholesalers, retailers and even the end-consumers. This data can be collected by growers, marketing companies, wholesalers, and retailers and stored on the cloud, so that they can achieve deeper analysis into the ‘whys’ of the information that is collected. Think trends, patterns, anomalies and root cause detection. As your data is the most accurate it can be, your data is also top quality – great news for data analytics projects.

With so many benefits to this technology, it looks like the future is going to be an automated one! If you want to hear more about how it works, let’s set up a call and we can walk you through it.