Traceability That Starts with the Seed: The Future of Food Safety

Farmer holding crops

There was a time not so long ago when all most people really cared about was having access to fresh fruits and vegetables. This represented a big step forward from previous generations that had learned to get most of their produce needs met by opening a can (many of us remember the squeak of canned green beans or those mushy, overcooked slices of canned peaches). But in today’s world, people who can afford good food want to be able to learn everything about what they eat: where it comes from, how it was grown, how it was transported to market, how long it’s been on the shelf.

A Supply Chain with No Blind Spots
Here at Frequentz, we’re committed to helping our customers provide consumers with the assurance that the produce they purchase is safe and fresh. Much of our business involves providing real-time transparency to participants in the fresh produce supply chains—the growers, warehouses, packers, shippers, brokers, suppliers and retailers who get fresh produce “from farm to fork.” Recently we’ve been working with one of our partners, World Food Processing, to create what we think will be a model for food safety in the future: the fully integrated supply chain.

Opinions differ on the nutritional benefits and environmental risks posed by genetically altered fruits and vegetables. But in many countries of the world, food suppliers have to be able to guarantee that its produce is GMO-free. World Food Processing, one of the most comprehensive plant-based protein companies in the world, provides this guarantee through the use of a fully integrated supply chain. This is a closed-loop system that begins with pure, non-GMO seeds and follows literally each individual seed as it grows into a plant, and then as its peas, beans and other pulses are harvested and processed into the myriad plant-based products that appear on grocery shelves. Beyond “from farm to fork,” this new system can track produce “from seed to fork.”

Food Safety is a Shared Responsibility
The result of World Food Processing’s closed-loop system is a transparent supply chain capable of tracing a single soybean or pea seed from field to table. And if you think no one wants or needs this depth of traceability, just consider another new technology that uses lasers to inscribe individual identifiers on individual pieces of fruit. The trend of the future is clear: Due in part to past food scares, consumers want to be able to find out all they can about the food they eat. At the same time, suppliers want to be able to instantly trace produce back to the field where it grew, and forward to every shelf of every store where it is being sold. And growers want complete transparency to discover where and how its produce became tainted.

On Beyond Canned Beans
For the past few decades I’ve been in the business of providing people around the world with safe, nutritious fresh produce. I’m very proud of the technology Frequentz has not only developed for the fresh produce market, but also for seafood, beverage and pharmaceuticals. By providing transparency, trust and integrity across increasingly complex supply chains, we’re helping advance food safety around the world. I’m optimistic that with good technology—and with members of these global supply chains taking personal responsibility for the goods they provide, today’s food industry will meet two critically important goals of feeding our planet and protecting our natural resources.

Watch a video to learn more about how Frequentz assists with ensuring consumers are well aware of the food we eat, and how World Food Processing controls bringing the best plant-based proteins for consumers and customers around the globe.

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Charlie Sweat, CEO of Frequentz

About Charlie Sweat
Charlie Sweat serves as CEO, Chairman & Founder of Frequentz, the leader in global traceability solutions.  He is an alumnus of the Stanford University School of Business (SEP) and a former Alumni Board of Directors. Prior to Frequentz, Mr. Sweat served as CEO of Earthbound Farm. During his 15-year tenure with Earthbound Farm, Mr. Sweat was able to grow its business from $10 million to over $540 million in revenues. Early in 2014, he led and completed its sale to WhiteWave Foods, Inc. on behalf of its shareholders, including private equity firm Kainos Capital, for approximately $600 million. Mr. Sweat has been recognized as a Regional Winner and National Finalist in the 2011 Ernest and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards. On top of his current role at Frequentz, he is a board member of two privately held companies, as well as Global Green USA, a non-profit organization.

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