Since the end of 2019, the AgriPlace Chain digital platform has been broadly introduced. That's within the Dutch and Belgian fruit and vegetable trade. It's now making inroads into other European countries. "We're meeting a fruit and vegetable companies' need," says Nico Broersen.
"They want to manage their chain's quality information more easily. There's a lot of interest, especially from the German-speaking companies. But also from the UK and Ireland. Several large businesses have come on board. These include Keelings in Ireland and a KOLLA and Widmann (Gemusering) in Germany."
"Sustainability and socially responsible food are more relevant than ever. Consumer, retailer, and certifier demands have increased enormously. That's on agricultural products' quality, sustainability, and social aspects. Those demands can also differ considerably from retailer to retailer. AgriPlace helps to automatically collect all this necessary information. It checks it against the requirements, and so improves the chain's insight and safety," Nico says.
User friendly and time-saving
Nico cites user-friendliness as one of the AgriPlace Chain's big advantages. "You don't want to know how many emails clients and suppliers get nowadays. These are to update their information. That's regarding certificates, pesticide use, declarations, specifications, and more. Keeping track of this safely, manually, is becoming increasingly challenging. As is always being ready for customer requests for information."
"There's a growing awareness among companies in the industry. The manual way of managing this process is outdated. This method uses Excel sheets, emails, and SharePoint. We can also relay the quality information directly to an existing ERP system like Navision, SAP, or Greencommerce. That automatically ensures that the right product goes to the right buyer," continues Nico.
Companies can more easily collect, exchange, and share data with trade partners through a single network. AgriPlace provides a solution for collecting, organizing, and sharing compliance documents. These include certificates, declarations, spray lists, and the like.
"Fruit and vegetable companies worldwide can, therefore, easily collect and share information. An example is the link with GlobalGAP's database. Once a GGN is entered, the system keeps the GlobalGAP information up-to-date. That includes GRASP and the add ons. The platform offers insight and security and saves time for every link in the chain," Broersen adds.
Packaging suppliers and retailer start using AgriPlace
Various parties in the chain, like cooperatives and importers, already use AgriPlace. Now, packaging suppliers will also be working with it. So, all their packaging information is available in one system. "The first retailer will start using the system in May." More than 50 fruit and vegetable companies use AgriPlace Chain. These include Best Fresh Group, BUD Holland, and Berryworld. As well as BE Fresh, Chainn, Euro Gijbels, Foodiverse, Fruitmasters, and FreshKampo. And Gilad Produce, Hillfresh, Jaguar, Keelings, and Kölla.
Some of these companies will participate in the AgriPlace webinar. This will be held on Thursday, 20 May from 13:00 to 14:00. "There's a lot of market interest to automate the chain's quality information. At this webinar, these companies will explain in a short, engaging way how it works. And why they have chosen this solution to make the digital step in their quality management," Nico concludes.