(May 20, 6:10 p.m.) The Giumarra Cos. has expanded testing of a proprietary system that allows the Los Angeles-based shipper, its customers and consumers to trace packages from the fields to the end-user.

Giumarra VBM International LLC, a joint venture of Giumarra and Chilean grower and exporter Vital Berry Marketing, recently completed a test that tracked Florida blueberries from the fields to retail shelves, said Giumarra senior vice president Tim Riley.

Riley, who declined to name participating retailers, said the system has been tested on grapes, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries. He said avocados and melons likely will be the next items tested in the barcode-based system.

“We’re rolling it out to other commodities as we go forward,” Riley said. “We’re going as fast as we can, but we have a lot of growers.”

Riley said the system is GS1 compliant and could be used with radio frequency identification tags if customers request it.

“It’s RFID-ready,” he said. “When the time comes, we can put RFID into it, but there’s no demand for that yet.”

Riley said the traceback system is being used in conjunction with Giumarra’s Farm Application system. That software allows growers to log pesticide and chemical use and input information on harvest crews and other information.

“It means less paperwork for growers, and it’s more efficient,” Riley said. “We’re able to isolate down to the crew, field, time and date that a product was packed.”

Giumarra tests tracking for Florida blueberries
The Giumarra Cos. recently completed a test that tracked Florida blueberries from the fields to retail shelves, said Giumarra senior vice president Tim Riley.