Riveridge Produce followed the advice of the old saying, “if you want something done right, do it yourself.”
The Sparta, Mich.-based grower-shipper developed its own customized tracking technology that it’s already using in its orchards.
The concept for the Riveridge technology is largely borrowed from the retail sector. Riveridge emulated the detail-oriented characteristics of store-level tracking systems with a goal of identifying where each fruit comes from in its orchards.
According to a Riveridge news release, this type of innovation improves the company’s food safety and traceability program.
“I’m sure other places have something like it. This just happens to fit for our operation. What’s unique is it works everywhere,” chief executive officer Don Armock said.
Crew leaders enter data on the hand-held devices during harvest for real-time tracking of the fruit. The information is directly transmitted to the company computer system from the orchards.
The new technology allows the company to track fruit to the exact place it was picked within their orchards. It also can be used as an “enforcement method” of sorts to identify problems with the harvesters, making issues such as faulty stem clipping or bruising easy to quickly eliminate.
“(The system) allows us to develop and change harvest strategy at a spur of the moment,” Armock said.