Hy-Vee Automates Produce's Farm-to-Fork Traceability

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Hy-Vee Automates Produce's Farm-to-Fork Traceability


Midwestern grocer Hy-Vee is conducting a trial of a new solution to help automate farm-to-fork traceability of fresh produce coming to its stores.

Partnering with San Jose, Calif.-based software company Zest Labs, the retailer is using the Zest Fresh solution to make sure it provides a vast assortment of high-quality natural, organic and locally sourced products – and ensure that customers understand the sources of the food they purchase. The solution is claimed to reduce grocers’ waste from spoilage by more than 50 percent.

Zest Fresh uses the Internet of Things to autonomously track and report product freshness from harvest to store in real time, in its work with a premium supplier of seedless Holiday grapes. Leveraging what is said to be the industry’s first dynamic freshness metric – the ZIPR Code – the solution can give Hy-Vee traceability data and continuous real-time visibility of the remaining freshness capacity of the grapes.

“We are excited to work with Zest Labs to determine how Zest Fresh can help both monitor and improve freshness, while providing complete traceability through the cold supply chain,” said John Griesenbrock, Hy-Vee VP of produce and Health Markets. “With traceability support, we will become even more invested in bringing the freshest and highest-quality produce to our customers.”

West Des Moines, Iowa-based Hy-Vee operates more than 245 stores across eight Midwestern states and employs 85,000 associates.