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AU: Bar codes for banana still on the treeBar codes are turning up earlier than usual in the food supply chain in Western Australia. At the Munro's plantation in Carnarvon, barcodes are being used to improve efficiency of operations. Tags are attached to trees and scanned regularly allowing Darrell Munro to keep up to date on what is happening with her trees.
"It's just a way of recording what's happening in the banana patch, if you can't measure it you can't manage it," she says. "At the moment we're forecasting when the bunches are going to be ready and how many bunches we've got ready, so when a flower comes out I put a tag in and record it, upload it on to the computer, and you've got graphs which show you exactly what you'll be picking in the coming weeks."
Not many growers are currently using this system, though it may catch on when people hear of the benefits it provides.
"It gives us an edge to know how to manage our plantation,"said Darrell, "we know that we need to keep picking this week, we've ordered lots of trailers, because we know there's a lot of bananas there because the computer shows we've got lots,"
However, anyone interested in this idea will need to speak to a software developer - the software used on the plantation has been created specifically for the Munro's by Darrell's son
"He's a computer programmer, he grew up on the plantation and he always said if he could operate the plantation from a computer he would take over, but because he couldn't I think this is his way of doing his bit for the banana industry."
Publication date: 2/23/2012
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