Cold Chain Logistics: Assessing the Challenge

Cold Chain Logistics: Assessing the Challenge

Cold chain logistics, including quality control and monitoring of produce during transport and distribution, is a major issue in the agri-food sector. The biggest challenge is to ensure a continuous cold chain (maintain cold chain integrity) from producer or supplier through to the retailer and, ultimately, to the consumer. For that it is necessary to count on appropriate monitoring and control systems and technologies, as well as techniques of collection and analysis of reliable data. Currently, the FAO (Food and Agriculture...Continue Reading...
Fresh Food Industry Trends from 2018

Fresh Food Industry Trends from 2018

The Best of Zest – 2018 In 2018, the Zest Labs Blog provided a timeline for what was topical in the fresh food supply chain industry. Google Analytics details which blogs most resonated with our readers. Our analysis reveals a few interesting fresh food industry trends in 2018. In the “Best of Zest” we offer you highlights from the year and some hints of things to look for in 2019. Fresh Food Industry Trend #1: Food Technology Is “So Hot Right Now” New food-related technologies, particularly blockchain for the fresh food supply...Continue Reading...
Charles Darwin and the Fresh Food Industry

Charles Darwin and the Fresh Food Industry

What does Charles Darwin have in common with the fresh food industry? Boiling down evolutionary theory to its basics, those that adapt survive. Those that don’t, well…. In a new white paper from Transworld Data, Mary Shacklett references the tale of three companies, Netflix, Blockbuster and Red Box, who have all taken different approaches to the entertainment content market. Not much more than a decade ago, Blockbuster dominated the movie and media content market, having over 9,000 stores at its peak. Meanwhile, Netflix a small DVD...Continue Reading...
Does the Fox Have an Unbiased View of the Henhouse?

Does the Fox Have an Unbiased View of the Henhouse?

When it comes to monitoring performance, it’s a good idea to work with someone that has independence – meaning they don’t benefit based on the result. Just as you wouldn’t trust the fox to keep an accurate count of hens in the henhouse, you should find an objective, third party to monitor your product performance through the supply chain. For example, consider advertising rates on television. Let’s say a fast food restaurant wants to advertise their new double bacon chili cheeseburger during a baseball game. They’ll want to know how...Continue Reading...
Timing is Everything – The Impact of Cut-to-Cool Time on Freshness

Timing is Everything – The Impact of Cut-to-Cool Time on Freshness

Have you ever shown up at a busy restaurant just as a table becomes available? Or perhaps you raced to a store to get an item that’s in high demand and discovered that you are the lucky individual to get the last one on the shelf? When these things happen, I say to my wife “Timing is everything!” Timing is everything when it comes to food freshness too. All produce has a definable shelf-life, or “freshness capacity,” which varies based on harvest quality and conditions, and product temperature. The timing becomes critical from the...Continue Reading...
Growers, Packers and Shippers – What Really Happens in the Food Supply Chain

Growers, Packers and Shippers – What Really Happens in the Food Supply Chain

How many of us really understand what it takes to provide the fresh fruits and vegetables that we buy at our local grocery store? Last week I was at the Western Growers Center for Innovation and Technology (WGCIT) in Salinas, California and had the chance to meet with Dennis Donohue, the WGCIT’s Consulting Director. While I’m perhaps more in-tune with the produce industry than your average American, speaking with Dennis demonstrated to me just how much most of us can learn about how our produce is grown, harvested, packed and...Continue Reading...