STRICTER market protocols will become the norm for farmers in the future, even down to providing a n

25 Oct, 2006 08:45 PM

³Supermarkets put up boards with photographs of key produ-cers and provide product infor-mation to give consumers confi-dence to buy,² Mr Fulwood said.

³The latest technology for traceability is called QR Code, much like the normal bar code on food we buy.

³By using your mobile phone to scan the code, it automatically can connect you with a website, which provides the product¹s origin and information relating to chemicals or pesticides used and general quality information.

³The QR Code can be used for food, clothing, auto parts, business cards ‹ and probably anything you can think of.

³Premium steaks in Japan, for example, are well packaged and priced ‹ more than $100/kg ‹ and a consumer will receive a receipt with the animal¹s nose print on it.

³In Europe, an increasing number of traceability systems are becoming mandatory for food with origin and even animal identification.

³Growers worldwide are in-volved in value-adding and many are using traceability systems to access premium markets.

³Branding also is a big thing and can be used for international or local markets.

³With consumer concerns about mad cow disease and bird flu, there¹s increased awareness of sustainable food production that is wholesome, healthy and environmentally sound.

³In the US, there¹s a trend towards wholesome food with new supermarket chains emerging to cater for food that meets market requirements.²

Organic food was a growing niche with overseas farmers focusing product on high-end price supermarkets.

³Others pick premium butchers, for example, to sell their quality beef and lamb,² Mr Fulwood said.

On a broadacre scale of production, WA farmers have an opportunity to increase noodle sales into Japan with marketing that would include visual and audio set-ups in supermarkets.

³This would show where the wheat was grown, the quality dynamics and general informa-tion targeted at specific markets,² Mr Fulwood said. ³The extent of market promo-tion now sees scanners in Japanese supermar-kets which can provide readout of the sugar content of fruit.²

³Farmers also could look to local markets with innovative value-added products that provide the traceability and branding that can bring premium prices.²

One example that Mr Fulwood saw overseas was the sale of square watermelons.

The sky is the limit.


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