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CGA secures major pilot project on traceability

Cherry Growers Australia has secured a major innovative project to strengthen traceability for cherry exports high-value markets.

Cherry Growers Australia (CGA) and Agriculture Victoria will partner to lead an innovative cherry supply chain traceability pilot for on-farm traceability and high-value export markets. The project is funded through Agriculture Victoria from its Transforming Traceability program.

The Australian cherry industry has a total value of $189 million and exports worth $79.5 million. At its peak, Victorian cherry growers exported almost 2,000 tonnes to over 30 countries annually at a value of $30.8 million.  

Over 2 years from 2022 to 2024, this pilot will build and protect exports by developing automated and integrated traceability systems that track the product journey from on-farm harvest through to customer. These systems will have the ability to identify product back to a carton or consignment level.

This pilot program will be conducted through a large Victorian producer and exporter, CherryHill Orchards. CherryHill will integrate the developing hardware and software technologies into their supply chain to apply this leading traceability technology to their premium cherry brands.

While on-farm traceability is well developed in the cherry industry, it may be a paper-based system and usually ends when cherries enter export countries, preventing Australian producers from tracing their produce and leveraging the value of their brands.

The pilot will run within the Australian cherry industry and will deliver value for all Australian commodity sectors and international markets through:

  • developing technology for the pilot with the potential for future use across the cherry industry
  • development and use of traceability technology with flexibility to be used in many markets
  • implementation of international GS1 standards
  • a communication program and a public report accessible to all

Hugh Molloy, Treasurer of Cherry Growers Australia, welcomed the project and said traceability was pivotal for reinforcing competitiveness in international markets. 

“Traceability will enable Australian cherry growers to underpin the provenance, authenticity, food safety and other biosecurity certifications to importing countries, buyers and consumers”. The traceability information captured in this pilot will underpin the integrity of Australian production systems, enhance our competitiveness in international and domestic markets and facilitate the sharing of our stories from orchard to plate." 

CherryHill Orchards, a large Australian producer and exporter, will develop on-farm traceability and producer-to-customer traceability for use within export and domestic markets.

Stephen Riseborough, Director, CherryHill Orchards: “Traceability technology when developed and implemented well across food and produce industries, will help grow and protect the reputation of our region and the broader value of “Brand Australia”. 

Technology systems include RFID scanners supplied by RAMP and software from Dialog Information Technology.GS1 traceability standards will be incorporated into the pilot, enhancing the international compatibility of these supply chains for global exports and domestic markets.

For more information:
Andréa Magiafoglou
Cherry Growers Australia
Tel.: +61 0412 901 909

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