Standardizing information in the fresh supply chain

Short & Sweet

When we say Fresh, we mean agricultural products that end up directly at the consumer without processing. Of course, these products may be cut, mixed or packaged. Recent market developments demonstrate that more and more data about these fresh products has to be shared in the entire chain; from farm to fork.  

Market developments show that we need to "share" more and more data about these fresh products in the supply chain from greenhouse to cash register and from farm to fork. The focus of standardization is mainly driven by the "last mile": the Retail perspective. However, these matters have to come together more and more.  Information standardization from the source, Upstream, is necessary in order to unlock/share the correct and desired information from grower and farmer as efficiently and effectively as possible.

Standards are required for the exchange of information. Standards for the fresh produce chain are determined by different authorities on different sides. For example, the demand side is assigned by retail while standards for producers are determined by, among others, UN/CEFACT. Therefore, it is essential that these developments are streamlined and interconnected.



The mission of the Fresh Upstream Foundation is to promote the application and acceptance of information standards in the international fresh food chain and to create and optimize its preconditions. This is based on making standards available (and upholding them) for electronic message traffic, codes, labels etc. for farmer to customer.

The ambition of the Fresh Upstream Foundation is to get the fresh chain ready as effectively as possible to respond to new demands from the chain and the demand for change from consumers and the government. This should be placed in a customer-centric playing field and complete transparency in the chain.

The objective is to maximize the information exchange between links in the chain, based on standardised messages, identification standards, and codes. Ultimately, 100% of the information should be exchanged in this way.