Horticulture is a broad industry that includes an array of growers who supply large volumes of fresh and processed produce to consumers. This includes popular fruits and vegetables like apples, cherries, plums, nectarines, melon, citrus, grapes, strawberries, carrots, pumpkin, potatoes, grains, tomatoes, broccoli and more.

The industry is actively using new technologies to mitigate transparency to combat the economic and social impact caused by incidents like food tampering and contamination. The industry includes producers of licenced (boutique or premium) products, especially within the fruit market, at risk of counterfeiting and substitution. This typically occurs in export markets where the complexity of the supply chain is taken advantage of.

There is a significant traceability gap within fresh produce supply chains, even with labelling and digital systems in place. With labelling occurring at the packhouse, the traceability gap exists in the supply chain before this point, where produce is still loose and unidentifiable through digital or paper-based means.

Listen to our webinar about horticulture and the traceability gap

Key issues facing horticulture supply chains

Counterfeiting of high-quality exported produce is rampant in overseas markets where goods coming from countries with high production standards, like Australia, are often seen as a premium commodity.

False labelling
The market is increasingly saturated with ‘values’ based claims. These include production method claims (organic, sustainable or biodynamic) or origin claims. Verifying the origin of these products eliminates fraudulent brands, ensuring fair competition, and premium produce is not devalued.

Food safety and recall
Contamination claims and food terrorism have caused significant issues for the horticulture industry. The traceability gap at the packhouse hinders recall efforts as large amounts of unlabelled produce arrive at packhouses from multiple sources. This reduces the effectiveness of tracing back contaminated goods to their source and limiting industry-wide damage.

Supply chain resilience
The horticulture supply chain faces enormous pressure as a primary food producer. Environmental, political and economic disruptions can drastically affect industries’ ability to produce at volume. This can create food supply and food security issues and, in turn, open up opportunities for substitution where supply chain partners look to maintain their margins.

Origin verification for the horticulture industry
We use our scientific provenance verification to verify the farm of origin of horticulture products underpinning traceability systems, certifications and claims. Source Certain’s robust and trusted science offers assurance to producers and stakeholders by adding a layer of credibility to product claims that consumers can trust.

Explore our Provenance Verification Program

Read our horticulture program Case Studies