Text messaging featured in case-level traceback system

06/22/2009 04:56:05 PM
Doug Ohlemeier

A North Carolina melon grower-shipper is using a case labeling traceback system that allows consumers to send text messages to learn more about the company.

Jackson’s Farming Co., Autryville, N.C., is installing a case labeling system provided by FoodLogiQ, Durham, N.C.

Kerry Farrell, FoodLogiQ’s vice president of sales and marketing, said its Web-based software tools are expected to provide Jackson’s Farming case-level traceability by mid-July.

                                               Courtesy Jackson Farming Co.

Andy Kennedy, (left) president of traceability company FoodLogiQ, and Brent Jackson, co-owner and sales manager of Jackson Farming Co., Autryville, N.C., oversee packing of cantaloupe on June 19. Through a service offered by FoodLogiQ, consumers can learn about Jackson Farming's growing and packing processes via text messages.

The FoodLogiQ system has what it calls mobilemarQit, which provides a textable code on labels that allows consumers while shopping to instantly receive more information on the melon’s farm, production practices and other details via texting a short code.

Farrell said companies can use texting for branding and nutrition information.

“The produce traceability initiative is a big push for a lot of companies,” Farrell said. “Our focus is how do we help smaller companies get access to tools and technology to enable that. Jackson’s Farming doesn’t need to do case coding until next year but they want to be ahead of the curve.”

Brent Jackson, Jackson’s Farming’s co-owner and sales manager, said he considered many products. He said he reviewed several systems at the Washington, D.C.-based United Fresh Produce Association’s United Fresh 2009 in late April in Las Vegas.

“They (FoodLogiQ) have item-level availability, as a lot of companies have that,” Jackson said. “My concern, however, is that we need to tie the item to the bin and the bin to the farm. Currently, there is  no way of doing that without putting in a lot of elaborate equipment. It’s coming, but it’s a process.”


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