Lessons Amplified from the Global Produce and Floral Show!
We had the most amazing time at last month’s Global Produce and Floral show #GPFS2022! We’re so delighted that we managed to meet up with so many of you, both existing customers and new partners and friends, so a big thanks to everyone who made the trip to Orlando to see us.
Now that the dust has settled from an awesome experience, we wanted to share some of the key messages that we identified from spending time with customers, colleagues and the wider network of the fresh produce industry. Here’s how we see it!
The Fresh Produce Supply Chain is Recovering
Fresh produce is one of many industries that has experienced challenges over the past 3 years. From the lockdowns of COVID-19, to the significant disruptions to the supply chain, and escalating climate changes, it’s not been easy to be in our business! Examples include shipping delays, a lack of equipment such as refrigerated containers, and capacity and labor constraints in the trucking and delivery industry. On top of that, Congress uncovered that the costs of fertilizer rose 35%, while pesticides soared by 25%. It’s been a tough ride.
However, with demand remaining stable, we can see that the market is slowly recovering. Fruit and vegetable imports are now on the rise, and we can see in practice how innovation is gradually reducing the impact of the skills gap, and supporting businesses in increasing their revenues.
The Margin for Error has Narrowed Significantly
That’s not to say that the challenges of the past few years haven’t left their mark. For most players in the fresh produce supply chain, the margin for error has reduced, making every single decision more important and impactful to the bottom line. A rejected shipment can have a costly impact on the whole value chain, as well as the environment more widely. A third of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted globally each year.
We’re seeing more and more businesses look for ways to ensure consistency of quality, and to reduce the risk of quality mismatches and rejections between sellers and buyers. Streamlining quality control decisions between sellers and buyers has become a top priority.
Digitalization is on Everyone’s Lips, and their Roadmaps
To reduce quality mismatches, and to add standardization and consistency to the supply chain, the buzzword at GPFS2022 was digitalization! In particular, the ability to automate quality assurance is top of mind, and the industry’s largest players are ready to act in order to mitigate growing risks.
We are also experiencing another growing trend. Multiple large exporters and packers/shippers have previously developed their own IT system to collect their quality data. However, they are now recognizing that making the leap into AI-powered quality assurance is beyond their stand-alone IT and data processing resources. As a result, they are contemplating a partnership with a 3rd-party platform.
We are seeing strong interest for commercially-proven solutions that can:
- Eliminate the reliance on legacy solutions, whether that’s pen and paper or Excel or spreadsheet tools.
- Create a common language around fresh produce standards, so that each grading isn’t subjective and siloed.
- Reduce the manual effort involved in QC, while adding peace of mind to the outcomes of inspections.
- Standardize the process of quality control anywhere, removing the subjective approach of individual QC inspectors.
- Augment shipments with visibility, so that managers have access to real-time data about their produce and its status.
- Add intelligence to quality control, tracking the root cause of rejections, and providing evidence for inspector decisions.
Clarifruit is Going From Strength to Strength!
As the only player in this space that offers an AI-powered quality control platform for fresh produce, we have been watching this evolution of the market with interest and excitement! During the conference, we got to speak to many major players in the industry about starting their Clarifruit journey, and we can’t wait to share these success stories with the community in due course.
As always, we’re continuing to expand and improve our solution, and we used GPFS 2022 as an opportunity to unveil our next-gen LiDAR sensor. This will significantly enhance user experience when performing an inspection, and removes the need for a sizing reference to be used while taking in-app photos.
If you missed us at the conference, but are interested in seeing how the platform works, you can check it out here. Reach out with any questions, we’d be happy to help.