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Dutch tech firm pushes for supply chain transparency

Cloud platform will allow fresh produce companies to share food quality certificates with minimum time and effort

Dutch tech firm pushes for supply chain transparency

Martijn van Es at Fruit Logistica 2018

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Dutch tech firm Agriplace is set to launch new cloud software to make it easier for fresh produce companies to exchange food quality certificates, bringing greater transparency and sustainability to the supply chain.

The cloud software, which Agriplace hopes will be ready by the end of March, is designed to help importers, exporters and producers to share various food quality documents, such as maximum residue limit (MRL) tests.

At present, many fresh produce businesses still exchange certificates by email, leaving scope for emails to get lost and for certificates to expire without companies knowing.

By providing a cloud that all documentation can be uploaded to, Agriplace wants to give companies a clear overview of the certificates in their supply chain and when they expire, helping them save time and resources.

“We want our platform to deliver transparency of data, which will bring more sustainability to the supply chain,” said business development director Martijn van Es.

“Our vision is that a receiver will be able to set certain criteria and that the cloud will tell them which suppliers comply with the standards they’re looking for.”

Looking further ahead, Van Es thinks a system will be developed to allow consumers to fully track a product's journey from farm to fork, however this is still still ten years off, he believes. 

The Amsterdam-based company is currently testing its software with six fresh produce importers in the Netherlands: HillFresh, Levahrt, Coolfresh, Jaguar, Olympic Fruit and Torres Tropical Fresh.

Also developed in conjunction with farmers, auditors and standard setters, the platform will be available to fresh produce firms globally, with pricing dependent on the number of documents a company wants to share.

Agriplace launched as a business back in 2014, providing software for farmers and cooperatives to manage their questionnaires and evidence documents, such as GlobalGAP certificates.

The current project responds to demand for a similar service from importers and exporters, who will be given secure access to various documents depending on their position in the chain.

Van Es explained that while the basis of the software doesn’t differ greatly from existing 'clouds' like Dropbox and Google Drive, it allows more users to access documents and for these documents to be easily forwarded between companies in the supply chain.

“Our aim is to have the larger importers in western Europe on our platform and to have them cover their supply chains completely with Agriplace,” he said, adding he wants to create a common platform, which importers can use with multiple suppliers.

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