You won’t hear this on the grapevine, but grapes are not just for snacking between meals. They are used as ingredients in recipes and when they’re sweet, like Moon Drop grapes, as desserts.
Since table grapes are used in all sorts of ways by consumers, and their consumption is high, for an exporter or importer the market opportunities are plenty.
But there is one big problem they have to cross first. Before the pandemic, a customer could visit and verify quality. COVID-19 and travel restrictions have put paid to that option.
This has made proving that the quality of grapes delivered will match the quality ordered a challenge. Digitizing quality processes overcomes this hurdle.
Digitizing grape quality helps traders earn client confidence
With an app, like Intello Track, traders can share detailed quality reports with the clients remotely. The app creates reports where images and grape attributes, from firmness to Brix, are in the same place. This offers visual proof to clients, which engenders trust and confidence.
Sending QC reports is not the only benefit of the tool. It eliminates busywork. There is no need to convert pen and paper records to Excel, and then PDF reports. The app auto-generates structured quality reports instantly. This also saves the cost of data encoding.
In addition, managing or reviewing quality images is easier because every piece of data is structured and cataloged. Since all data lives in a cloud, quality conflicts never occur between the trader and the client. They can draw upon a single source of historical data to resolve them in an instant.
Lastly, the app can help managers monitor packhouses and the workforce remotely through an easy-to-use dashboard and analytics, allowing for improvements in their supply chain.
Australia improving table grape export with data logging tech
As a grape trader, quality management apps like Intello Track are not the only tech you can leverage. In a bid to give table grape exporters an edge in the international market, the Australian government is funding traceability tools.
Through the Traceability Grants Program, they’re promoting real-time data loggers. Created in partnership with Frigga Tech and AND Fresh, a premium exporter of grapes, the device offers complete accessibility on data like temperature, humidity, light, location, and more. This enables an exporter to monitor shipment 24/7 remotely.
APEDA relies on blockchain for more grape export visibility
The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (Apeda) in India added a blockchain solution to its traceability platform GrapeNet for the same reason.
With the Apeda Trust Chain, grape importers in the EU can keep track of shipments from Indian exporters. The blockchain helps validate the authenticity and quality of exported grapes by offering information on the vineyard location, harvest data, test reports, packhouse procurement, grading, and more from anywhere.
Margins matter in the grape trade
Grape exporters and traders are facing a perfect storm around the globe. In the Netherlands, supply peaked in a very short time. In Australia, a shortage of labor made it impossible to market grapes. In North America, the prices of white grapes are high due to the scarcity of supply from Chile.
The consequences of the pandemic have left quite a lot of competitive pressure on grape traders. Technology can help alleviate some of it and increase margins.
It doesn’t matter if traders use something as simple as a workflow automation app or as complex as blockchain. What matters is taking that first step towards digitizing grape quality to achieve sustained growth.