What is the aim behind AgriPlace Chain? What particular issues in the supply chain are you looking to respond to and address?
NBJ: With AgriPlace Chain we are aiming to solve the inefficiencies of obtaining, managing and sharing information regarding compliance in the fresh produce industry, looking at every actor in the supply chain. More specifically, we are looking to address: inefficiencies in the sharing of information, and in that same information being shared multiple times throughout the chain; a lack of transparency and traceability in the supply chain; and a lack of insight into the social and environmental aspects of products and suppliers. AgriPlace Chain is aiming to become the one database for all things compliance in fresh produce.
Do you think awareness about the need for transparency in the supply chain is increasing?
NBJ: We found that transparency needs are increasing as consumers demand more information on traceability, food safety and the social and environmental aspects of the food and drinks they purchase. We see a constant movement toward tracing more information down to farm level by retailers and agricultural companies.
What are the main advantages for companies that use AgriPlace Chain?
NBJ: There are three main advantages. Firstly, they can minimise risk in their supply chains. Through daily database checks and automatically updated documents, users are quickly informed if any risks occur in their supply chain. Secondly, they can ensure they serve their customers’ different needs concerning food safety and social and environmental requirements. Lastly, they can save time and create consistency in quality assurance. Currently, there is a shortage of good quality professionals in food, so automated retrieval and checks of quality information ensure that information on the safety of the supply chain is constantly retrieved and guaranteed.
Where do you expect to see the greatest demand for AgriPlace Chain?
NBJ: Most demand we see coming from fresh produce companies with complex supply chains and high numbers of suppliers. However, if we look at our first customers and companies that are starting trials or on the waiting list, almost all product groups are represented in the fruit and vegetables sector.
Do you see this product helping to speed up and simplify processes in complicated cases such as future trade between post-Brexit UK and the EU?
NBJ: AgriPlace Chain could certainly contribute to an easier flow of information between British and European companies. Customs documents, for example, can be automatically requested via AgriPlace Chain.
Does it simplify the job of suppliers responding to different requirements on things like residue limits?
NBJ: AgriPlace Chain simplifies the response of suppliers to different requirements and enables them to upload or collect their information once and share it with all relevant buyers. We are also making connections to laboratory databases early in 2020 so suppliers can automatically see their results.