A melon’s journey from farm to fingertips
NSW melon lovers will be able to track the entire paddock-to-plate journey of their sweet summer produce, with the launch of a new pilot program by the NSW Government that will use QR codes to connect consumers with the people who grow their fruit.
Minister for Agriculture Adam Marshall has announced the melon safety program, which he says will enhance the NSW Government’s traceability systems by providing information on origin, freshness and safety, and help prevent bacteria outbreaks.
“As a result of COVID-19, people have become more familiar with using QR codes, and now they will help industry deliver high-quality, traceable melons,” Marshall says.
Through a simple scan of your mobile, the program can connect you with the growers, packers, exporters, regulators and retailers involved in your melon’s journey to your hands – so you know every step of the chain your produce has been on, from paddock to plate.
“Two years ago there was a national listeria outbreak, which we hope to never see again,” Marshall says. “Solutions like this will keep industry experts ahead in the traceability game.”
This is a national program, spearheaded by the NSW Government, which will allow growers to promote their farms and growing regions, while also providing consumers with confidence about the products they’re buying for themselves and their families.
The NSW Government, through the Department of Primary Industries, has partnered with FreshChain, an Australian owned and operated tech company, to deliver the pilot program.
Marshall says the call has now gone out for expressions of interest from horticultural businesses – especially melons, berries and leafy vegetables – to participate in the pilot for trialling traceability in the domestic and export market supply chains.
“While the program gives consumers increased confidence in what they’re buying, it also presents an opportunity for our growers to showcase their world-class produce and food safety culture,” Marshall says. A sweet win-win indeed.